A disarming collection of hypnotic vocals and mesmeric guitar sounds, Midwife and Vyva Melinkolya have shared their collaborative EP, Orbweaving. Written and recorded at Madeline Johnston aka Midwife’s studio in New Mexico in the Chihuahuan Desert, the five songs that form the record are a beautiful byproduct of the altruistic environment they were created in.
From nights spent “herping” on empty roadsides looking for rattlesnakes, roadkill and orb-weaver spiders, to meaningful moments shared between Johnston and Angel Diaz (Vyva Melinkolya) in the studio, Orbweaving smoulders with the residual heat of sun-scorched sands, but it’s laced with the shiver-inducing melancholy of desolate desert nights too.
From the lullaby-esque tones of opener ‘Miss America’, through to the epic twelve minutes of the all-encompassing final eponymous track, Johnston and Diaz’s deceptively simple lyrical motifs and idiosyncratic tones perfectly pacify the pain of their past. Forging a strong friendship during 2020, the pair guided each other through a turbulent emotional time, and in the process began spinning the intricately woven, affecting web of sounds that now form Orbweaving.
From the aching sincerity of ‘NMP’ (No More Pain), to the heavy ambience of ‘Hounds Of Heaven’, the duo navigate the duality that comes with losing and reclaiming connection with internal and external spaces. Their poetic, hazy laments provide a heavy form of hope, the type that reveals itself unexpectedly; like emerging from the morning fog into the sunlight after a restless night pacing in the dark.
This feeling is aptly captured on the apocalyptic-titled ‘Plague X’. Inspired by the life-cycle of the cicadas insect – whose 17 year periodical took place in 2021 at the time of recording – the track gently personifies the horror and the sublime processes that occur in the natural world, and mirrors the inner emotional metamorphoses that Johnston and Diaz experienced themselves during the time they spent together. Its ominous context doesn’t detract from the immersive, mesmeric vocals and waves of rich, hazy guitar.
Whilst it may feel bleak and fragile in places, there is a truly bright, human thread that underscores Orbweaving. Together, Johnston and Diaz have spun a delicate web that simultaneously connects and soothes the senses, but also manages to retain the grit of the grains of New Mexico sand they were inspired by too. Bathe yourself in Johnston’s trademark “heaven metal” and Diaz’s evocative shoegazey noise, both of which are seamlessly tethered here.
Listen to Orbweaving on bandcamp and Spotify
Follow Midwife on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram & Facebook
Follow Vyva Melinkolya on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram & Facebook
Photo Credit: Jon Mcwilliams