Exclusive: WHIMZ Conjure a Doomed Dreamscape on “PM2”


Portland doom outfit Blackwater Holylight quickly gained attention in the stoner/psychedelic underground, releasing three albums in as many years. Fronted by singer and bassist Sunny Faris, Blackwater Holylight became known for their lush, shoegazey doom that prominently featured the singer’s vocals. Faris’ powerful vocals are in the spotlight again in WHIMZ, her new project with Night Heron’s Cam Spies.

Stylistically, WHIMZ is far from Blackwater Holylight, yet their sound occupies a similar place on the heaviness spectrum. The synth-driven doom-pop songs on PM226, the duo’s new record, are heavy and wistful, featuring vintage drum machines, thumping basslines and distorted synthesizer soundscapes. Faris’ vocals float over the top of the songs, like on their latest offering, “PM2.”

The drum machine used on the song also gives “PM2” a slight goth feel, inviting an urge to dance that feels pleasantly at odds with the floating vocals and relatively simple compositions. Spies—who recorded the first Blackwater Holylight album, which led to the formation of WHIMZ when the two later decided to enter the studio together—explained how “PM2” came to be.

“On our first few days in the studio we had essentially no idea what to expect, aside from a small bit of an idea that Sunny brought in that became ‘PM1.’ Initially, ‘PM1’ and ‘PM2’ were one song, and ‘PM2’ spontaneously grew out of ‘PM1’ and was completely written in the studio in a matter of hours. With this single version, the listener gets a little preview of PM1 right at the beginning of the track.”

You can listen to “PM2” now. PM226 is out on October 28 via Literal Gold Records.

WHIMZ has a live lineup which features members of YOB. They have a few shows scheduled.

Nov 10 – Portland – Doug Fir Lounge
Nov 12 – Seattle – Freakout Fest – Sunset Tavern 

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