On “The Ox Months,” NORPHLET Seeks Nuance in Atmospheric Alt-Rock

Texas- and California-based duo NORPHLET take another step in developing an atmospheric alt-rock sound on their latest single, “The Ox Months,” out this Friday, October 25.

“We’ve always been attracted to the idea of exploring different sounds and textures, but haven’t yet been in a position where we’ve had the ability to do so,” says singer and multi-instrumentalist Cody Brown. “With the last two singles, we’ve found ourselves in a place where we can take our time, experiment, and really work to flesh out these songs.”

While their first two EP’s made the most of Brown’s guitar and Taylor Devorsky’s drums, “The Ox Months” picks up where their last single, “Stillbloom,” left off. Here, pianos and synths blend with the usual anthemic power chords into a more dynamic, nuanced production. They give Brown the breathing room to let his voice fall to a whisper, and they open the floor for Devorsky’s fills to hit all the harder.

That style meshes well with the duo’s weighty, impassioned lyrics. The title of “The Ox Months” refers to the arctic period of darkness, which resonated with Brown in his emotional struggles.

“I stumbled upon [the phrase] at a dark time in my life and couldn’t help but draw the parallel between the absence of sunlight and the ways inner turmoil skew and obscure our perception of our situations.”

“The Ox Months” will also be featured on NORPHLET’s debut full-length album, slated for 2020 release. Brown says while the record ties into familiar sounds and lyrical themes, it also represents a shift in perspective that came from deep soul-searching.

“It’s an acknowledgement of where I’ve been, and an understanding that it doesn’t define me,” he says. “These are sad songs, but there’s a lot more hope than there used to be.”

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