To say nihiti is a work of escapism might be understating things. The Brooklyn band is shrouded in pseudonyms and anonymity, leaving nothing but the music to be examined.
Recently, nihiti dropped Faced With Splendor, a short record of acoustic ebb and flow, striking a lot of the electronic gloss they'd employed in the past -- though that's not for long, they tell us.
Check out the video for Faced With Splendor standout track "Pinko Morning," and read our quick interview below.
The sound of Faced With Splendor seems more focused, consistent than Other People's Memories. The leading instrument is an acoustic guitar and only a few other sounds -- horns, strings. Why did you choose to limit yourself to this specific palette this time around?
"Changing process is interesting, so we changed our process."
nihiti's music is often described as dark and cold. But both the sentiment and sound of Faced With Splendor feels more warm and inviting than anything you've done previous, even if the difference is only slight. How did this shift occur?
"Was it really ever that dark and cold? Or is Faced With Splendor really that warm?"
The last lyrics of Faced With Splendor seem to invoke the title more than any other -- "we are beautiful to me." What exactly is the splendor nihiti was faced with this time around, if not a relationship or specific person?
"Just the every day run of the mill transcendence one can find in anything."
Moreover, Faced With Splendor seems to be a departure from a sort of doomsday binge nihiti has indulged (except maybe the lyric of "The Ringing In"). How is the world looking to you today?
A lot of the tonalities, particularly in the vocals, on Faced With Splendor remind me of late-'90s alt rock. How does your band reflect on that era?
"We love a lot of that music very deeply, assuming we are talking about the right kind of 'alt rock' (might say 'indie rock')."
There's also an obvious symphonic approach to some of this composition -- what kind of background do you have in music?
"Some participants in nihiti are 'classically trained,' which is why we make sure to bring in people who have no idea what 'middle C' even means from time to time."
A lot of gaps on last year's LP were bridged with electronics, percussion, and more abrasive, processed sounds. Electronics only make a brief appearance on Faced With Splendor -- what happened to these sounds?
"We wanted to do something simple and more performance oriented."
Can we expect more of the acoustic chamber approach of Faced With Splendor moving forward?
"After For Ostland (the next LP in March), which will be entirely electronic, the following LP Never To Be Yourself And Yet Always (late 2012) will have more of this kind of thing... Hopefully balanced with more delicate electronics."
"(Note: here's one of those that was posted on 10/10/11. We post a song every N/N, the rest are here, but reserve the right to remove/take them down at any moment, and they are never promised to be part of any release.)"
Your remix of La Big Vic is boss. You had a lot of strings on this new record -- did Emile [Friedlander of LBV] help out with that? There's also a lot of multi-voiced, choral harmonies -- any one else we might recognize making an appearance on this record?
"Thank you, and no, Emilie doesn't appear on it. One of the participants in nihiti is a very accomplished cellist."
"TJ Lipple (of Aloha, recording engineer at Inner Ear/Silver Sonya) and Dan Huron (engineer at Stay Gold when it was in NYC; worked on records by TV on the Radio, Telepathe, Rain Machine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and others) helped play trombone (we needed a lot of trombonists as everyone's lips got tired quickly), but other than that, it's just us."
"You can expect a La Big Vic remix of 'Pinko Morning' in the not too distant future, however."
Your band is cloaked in a lot of mystery. What information can you divulge about yourselves?
"Listen to the records; it's all in there."