Debut EP ‘Low Modes’ arrives October 2024

Penzias and Wilson releases their debut EP titled Low Modes on October 25, 2024.

The seven-track EP centers around the A-flat major scale and the modes derived from each note in the scale. “Sonata Agita” starts things off on G Locrian, a mode often described as dark and unstable. The hip-hop beats and electronic dance bass try to offset that inherent instability.

“Tantalus Sunset” follows, turning the often bright D-Flat Lydian into something more contemplative. Other tracks seek new facets of a mode’s reputation. “Wildfire Sunset” skirts the more exotic tendencies of C Phrygian, and “Rescue the Fly,” which starts on F Aeolian (a.k.a. F minor), doesn’t stay there for long.

The “low” in Low Modes refers to solfege systems where the note A-flat is represented by the syllable “lo”. In other systems, the title of this EP could have been called Le Modes.

But why center an entire set of songs around A-flat? The first track completed for Low Modes was “Rescue the Fly,” which started out as a solo piano piece before being arranged for string quartet on the Empty Ensemble album 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」 (Gengaku Shijuusou Kyoku Sono Ichi). The track was essentially a token pop song among a suite of short classical pieces, so it made sense to turn it into an actual pop song. The rest of the EP took shape around that single track.

Low Modes will be released on streaming service and on Bandcamp for high-fidelity downloads.

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