Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Makeunder's alt-pop epic "Great Headless Blank" explores grief with astounding creativity

05 September 2016, 10:00 | Written by Rory Foster

It's rare that an artist comes along that can make records sounding so complex and creative, yet fully imagined within a few minutes' structure.

Makeunder's "Great Headless Blank", as well as the EP from which the track takes is name, manages just that. Without a doubt one of the most impressive, immersive records to emerge this year, the output couples dense instrumentation with Dirty Projector-esque tight harmonisation to create a beautiful and absorbing sound. It's a record that commands multiple listens and rightly deserves every second poured in.

Makeunder is the project of Hamilton Ulmer, an Oakland-based musician who has been through a lot - his work reflecting the emotions that naturally follow from a period of great loss - in this case, two grandfathers and his own father in the space of a year.

As much as the work is emotional it is also extremely visual. To accompany the title track Ulmer has released a video created by Carine Khalife. It captures and beautifully illustrates the moment of being completely immersed in grief, carrying you through convulsing shapes orbiting one central figure.

Ulmer says of it: "I wrote the song 'Great Headless Blank' in a broken state, and Carine managed to capture the anxiety of it, the feeling of spinning endlessly without really ever departing.”

Within the EP, Hamilton's vocal stretches between acrobatic melodies harking Dave Longstreth or Bjork and that of a sixties crooner. It's a remarkable voice - more powerful than Longstreth's and with instrumentation that is richer, at times erratic, but never superfluous.

Launching a record label is no mean feat, but by all means to do it with a release as absorbing as Makeunder's should helps things along nicely. Good Eye Records has been brought into the world alongside this project and its first order will be the physical release of Makeunder's EP. You can pre-order the vinyl for a limited release of 500 later this year.

Watch "Great Headless Blank" below - it's Song Of The Day.

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