♫♪  Dreamend - “Falling”

If life is sound, then the deaf are ghosts. Or something like them. One can’t help but recall Katt Williams: “No, not death, DEAF!” A single sound — a minor lingual adjustment with which children typically struggle — separates the conditions of not able to hear and not alive. If the irony of all this is doubled on a deaf musician, songwriter, label owner, or record store proprietor, it must be quintupled on the person who somehow finds enough moments in the day to fill all these roles.

And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave, the most recent full-length release from Ryan Graveface’s Dreamend project, came out six years ago. “Since my last album I was diagnosed with a bizarre hearing issue that’s making me go deaf day by day (also, comically it’s supposed to give me a stroke at some point),” Ryan tells us. That the musician — who also plays with The Casket Girls (and formerly Black Moth Super Rainbow) and owns record label/store Graveface Records & Curiosities — gives this grim news a shade of gallows humor is hardly shocking; much of his and his label’s catalogs could be called funnily, if not downright cutely, morbid.

What’s most surprising about Graveface’s forthcoming untitled album is how, intentionally or not, he’s adjusted his approach to music making. “I inadvertently used some classical music techniques in composition,” Graveface shares. “The main one I’m thinking is where you short the listener a certain amount of notes/chords. You provide them with just enough and their ear actually fills in the chord/notes that are missing.” Unable to hear “certain frequencies,” Graveface can tell “something is missing” from the songs on his new album. Yet it’s these ghostly pockets of unsound that shape the listening experience, like you’re reading a choose-your-own-adventure book wherein every story begins with your (the protagonist’s) demise via “Falling.” So titled, the album’s first single premieres below:

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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