We first came across the music of Melaina Kol late last year when scouting Bandcamp for the best ‘name-your-price’ releases, the album Face Eating Phantom Men catching our ear with a nostalgic brand of bedroom pop that evoked the likes of Alex G. The recording project of Logan Hornyak out of Youngsville, NC, Melaina Kol has a surprisingly diverse sound, the hushed melancholy of the vocals supported by an array of instrumental styles, from the flat emptiness of ‘Joy’ to the up-tempo strum of ‘Break’, giving the whole thing a sense of human nuance and vulnerability.

We were delighted then when our friends at It Takes Time Records got it touch to say that they were putting out Bird Kill Worm, a brand new record from Melaina Kol, and even more excited to get the opportunity to share the first single, ‘Nervs’. Once again, Hornyak works within the classic bedroom pop boundaries, this time practising an almost relaxed form of sadness, though the background tones rise with a sense of anxious urgency, propelling the track forward. The album was performed and recorded almost entirely by Hornyak when unable to sleep, and the feeling makes total sense—the strange insomniac hours of contradictions, where quietness has descended but a certain unease creeps through your body.

“Tripping, fumbling
I don’t wanna be like this all the time
I had everything
I don’t want to lose my spot
to him.
[…]
Come in, mumbling
I don’t think I’ll be the same”

The single comes complete with a B-side, ‘Suns’, which sees the Melaina Kol sound expand into an almost entirely ambient style, the dreamy opening fading into static drone before the lush notes reemerge with Hornyak’s vocals. The track serves as a great counterbalance to ‘Nervs’, the successful sleep to the A-side’s restlessness, the ethereal climax of the track both vivid and mournful, the lingering emotion that of bittersweet love.

“The rain never came down
the sun never showed.
We all looked like statues,
bodies we had froze.
I can’t believe you’re real.
I can’t believe you’re here.”

Bird Kill Worm will be released on It Takes Time Records on the 16th February, and you can pre-order it from Bandcamp.

Album art by Ben Hornyak