Anyone familiar with David Obuchowski’s work in Brooklyn metal crew Goes Cube might be caught off-guard by his significantly more hushed side-project Distant Correspondent.
While Goes Cube songs tend to be self-contained explosions, Distant Correspondent’s self-titled debut exhibits far dreamier qualities, layering together languid guitar, brushed drums and hushed guy-gal vocals courtesy of Obuchowski and singer/songwriter Edith Frost, who contributed vocals to the album but is no longer with the band (more on that later). According to Obuchowski, this more insular, introspective feel was driven in large part by the early morning hours he often found himself working on the tunes.
“I would wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning, and that’s when I would write,” said the musician, who joins his band for a show at Tree Bar on Sunday, Oct. 27. “It was pitch-black. My kid was sleeping. My wife was sleeping. The world was completely asleep, and it’s almost like I was still dreaming.”
Distant Correspondent started as a collaboration between Obuchowski and drummer Michael Lengel, and soon grew to incorporate vocalists Emily Gray (Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia) and Frost, who had distanced herself from the music industry following the release of her last album, the excellent It’s a Game, in 2005.
“I immersed myself in other things [and] got really heavily into knitting. I just enjoyed my anonymity … I had a real private life,” she wrote in a recent email exchange from her hometown of San Antonio, Texas. “But the whole time I was wishing I could get back to writing songs. The world doesn’t especially want knitting from me. It wants music.”
So even though the partnership didn’t unfold the way either hoped — Obuchowski said Frost went from a full-fledged member to “a guest who just happens to be on every song” — Frost does credit him with sparking a long-dormant urge to record.
“I already have broken the long streak of no-songwriting just by participation in writing songs with David. I have him to thank for coaxing me back into the fun,” she wrote. “I wouldn’t say I’m cranking out a lot of new songs, but I am working hard at getting my chops back.”
Obuchowski, for his part, said he enjoyed working with Frost, but he’s happy with the band’s current lineup. Even so, it sounded like he was itching for a return to his louder side, and he said he’s already started writing new material with his longtime mates in Goes Cube.
“It’s stripped of a lot of those prettier, more atmospheric elements,” he said. “It’s really brutal, brutal stuff.”