Horse Teeth is a band consisting of Dan Knishkowy (who you might know as Adeline Hotel), Sam Cantor (AKA Minor Moon) and Andrew Stocker. The trio holed up in Brooklyn at Rose Studios during a snowstorm and recorded their début EP, enlisting another WTD fav Will Stratton to mix the release.The EP opens with ‘Dark & Gloomy’, which is in fact anything but, progressing with an instinctive, carefree flow – that loose-limbed easiness with which we are sometimes blessed when the right song comes on under blue skies, or maybe the right person waits for us on the other end. However, hints of heartbreak worm through and the track rises to a cathartic middle section before falling back into the nonchalant groove, suggesting such assuredness is fragile and temporary and not easily won.

“Dark and gloomy
The sunlight almost threw me
And my guitar
Dreams depressing
They keep me second guessing
So I sleep high
When I get off
It’s like it never was”

‘More Stars’ is piano-driven and warm, a slow-burning ballad that sounds like a cross between DeYarmond Edison and Kalle Mattson, the joint vocals and introductory percussion feeling like the gradual dawning of some great feeling, a conviction that things are okay or at least can be, with the correct nurturing. The closing track, a beautiful rendition of Gillian Welch’s ‘Everything is Free’, begins slower and sadder but rises into something altogether more fierce, flipping between depression and anger and grim acceptance, the various stages of grief collapsed and jumbled and set ablaze.

“Everything is free now
That’s what they say
Everything I ever done
Gonna give it away
Someone hit the big score
They figured it out
That we’re gonna do it anyway
Even if it doesn’t pay”

If that wasn’t enough, Horse Teeth decided to record a cover of ‘Don’t This Look Like The Dark’ in honour of Jason Molina, a track which happens to fit in with their aesthetic really well. We’re going to take it as a given that WTD readers will already be huge Molina fans (if not may I point you in this direction?), and this cover really does the original justice.

“I thought that I’d live long enough
That the light would come shining through”

HT single art-02-01

The Horseteeth EP is out now, including on cassette via Bad Looks Records. You can grab it and the cover of ‘Don’t This Look Like The Dark’ from the Horse Teeth Bandcamp page.

Artwork by Michael Steiner