2 Dec 2022
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Murmur Tooth - Single Review: Antidote w/ Lars Moston

06 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
I conducted an email interview a couple of years back with Leah Hinton, aka. Murmur Tooth, and was impressed by her work, thus I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear what she’s been up to in the years during the pandemic.

Since about 2004, Leah has been around the music scene both globally and domestically, playing in a range of genres and groups from Kobosh and El Schlong, to her self-produced and self-recorded solo project Murmur Tooth. Leah met DJ and producer Lars Moston in Berlin during the pandemic, and spawned musical collaborations, the most recent of which is Antidote. And how does the little venture sound?

It doesn’t take long for one to notice the distinct lack of bass - The singing sounds distant, and the drum beat is similarly held back - But wait! The payoff is absolutely delicious, as the vocal lines ramp up and the filters lift, the full tune is truly revealed as an uplifting and dance-y little piece. There are some very clever uses of vocal samples that prop up and move the tune’s chorus, adding both emotion as well as driving the song along.

There isn’t much to show Leah’s rock or metal influences, and it’s actually a beautiful thing, as it displays her ability to adapt and take on a different mantel. No doubt the bittersweet melody of her singing is a call back to her tenure in the field of “doom-pop”, providing some youthful playfulness but also a bit of somberness.

While I’m not a specialist in identifying niche electronic genres, the central beat would undoubtedly be classed as a house one. The bassline, plus light and airy keyboard chords at every fourth beat gives the song a somewhat tropical atmosphere; the sound one might picture hearing at a local bar on late Friday afternoons, or at a swanky CBD café that serves craft beer and vegetarian sliders.

For those who are more centred round a pair of DJ decks, you may wish to check out the remixes by Dompe and Intaktogene, assumedly both producers and DJs out of Europe, with the former inclining more towards deep house, and the latter taking on more of a Saturday night nightclub vibe.

Remixes aside , and focusing back on the original tune - About Antidote, Leah wrote “We actually wrote the song in the middle of winter during the first Berlin lockdown, but we were having a great time just hunkering down making music, and this joy really comes through in the song - it sounds like summer!"

That it does, and I’m 100% here for it.

Listen Here

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Murmur Tooth

Murmur Tooth is the songs of musician and producer Leah Hinton. Dark and cinematic, not for elevators, and not for dancing, she loosely describes her genre as “doompop”.

Leah played classical piano as a child in New Zealand, and oboe and cello in her school orchestra. Then she heard Nirvana and everything changed - she taught herself guitar, formed avant-metal band El Schlong, and shredded her way around the world with El Schlong, and later quirk-rock band Kobosh. She settled in Berlin, built a studio, and started her solo “doom-pop” project Murmur Tooth, single-handedly writing, recording and mixing two EPs and a full-length album, as well as filming and editing a bunch of music videos.

Throughout 2022 Murmur Tooth is focusing on her ongoing collaboration with German electronic producer and DJ, Lars Moston. Leah and Lars met during the pandemic and started exploring how their polar opposite musical backgrounds could clash and combine. They are currently working on music that ranges from instrumental club tracks to vocal-based pop songs. April saw their first official releases together, starting with the instrumental You, Me, Us, Spines on super-hyped German label, Heideton, and the remix of Claptone's new single Beautiful on Different Recordings. Also in the works is a full-length album that combines Leah’s composition skills and vocal hooks with Lars’s production magic. The songs are dripping with layered harmonies and bursting with the weird and wonderful sounds of half broken instruments, salvaged childhood toys and repurposed household appliances. Watch this space…

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Murmur Tooth

Releases

A Fault in This Machine
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Dropping Like Flies
Year: 2017
Type: EP
The Room EP
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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