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A Quiet Darkness

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Editors’ Notes

With their second album, the husband-and-wife duo Houses don't just create more sophisticated songs; they also have a more innovative approach to recording. While relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles, Megan Messina and Dexter Tortoriello visited abandoned homes, taking field recordings of the open ambience or sampling and looping percussive sounds played from the old foundations. This mining of beauty from decay gives A Quiet Darkness its aural magic, starting with the gorgeously mournful opener “Beginnings.” Messina and Tortoriello’s harmonies here recall those of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker from Low. In “The Beauty Surrounds,” various rhythm parts are provided by close-up sonic textures of what sounds like a broom sweeping a wooden floor, the clicking of light switches, and a dripping faucet. But it’s the yearning melodies and lovelorn lyrics that give the tune a pulsing human life as they slow-dance over the song’s organic kinetics. The mantra of a trilling piano note playing alongside recordings of sticks banging on dilapidated walls gives “Carrion" a stark and haunting mood.

Customer Reviews

Lovely album just in time for Summer!

"A Quiet Darkness" is the perfect summer soundtrack with plenty of downtempo instrumentals and soft vocals.

I love a great find!

I saw Houses open up for Cold War Kids on Monday, April 15, 2013 at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill and was blown away with their music. Lucky for me I only had to wait until the next day to purchase 'A Quiet Darkness'. Great sound - live and on the album.

Big light :-)!

I heard this song on Grey's Anatomy and I fell in love with it.


Formed: 2010 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Houses' Dexter Tortoriello and Megan Messina hail from Chicago, but the roots of their dreamy electro-pop can be traced back to a potent three-month stay in Hawaii. Tortoriello played in metal and noise bands during his teens in suburban Illinois, while he also battled addictions to crack and heroin. He spent much of that time in rehab and halfway houses, and in 2006 Tortoriello quit Columbia College to stay at a rehab facility in California. He ended up following Jesse Logan, one of his counselors,...
Full Bio
A Quiet Darkness, Houses
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Customer Ratings