$10

Miserable

21+

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Zebulon

2478 N Fletcher Dr

Los Angeles, CA 90039

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Miserable

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MISERABLE

Kristina Esfandiari creates an impressive breadth of moods conjured in her various musical projects. In her work as the vocalist for King Woman, Esfandiari takes on a powerful, defiant stance against a backdrop of nocturnal doom rock. Her croon feels like a war cry. But in her ever-evolving solo endeavor Miserable, Esfandiari removes the armor and reveals her vulnerabilities. Across the span of two EPs and an LP, she examines the peaks and valleys of her young adult life. The polarizing scope of Esfandiari’s work under the Miserable moniker is aptly demonstrated on Loverboy/Dog Days, an album consisting of two EPs offered up by Sargent House: the brand new Loverboy EP and a remastered re-issue of the highly sought after Dog Days EP.

Loverboy is a somber and stormy affair. Written during Esfandiari’s brief residency in Brooklyn, it captures the songwriter during a personal nadir. But beyond the inevitable loneliness stemming from a cross-country move, there was an underlying fury in the four songs. It was a record born out of navigating past traumas and addressing the ugly side of humanity in a cathartic manner. And it was a record that seemed to write itself, with Esfandiari stating that the foundations for the songs came to her suddenly during a flight back to NYC. “I had chills running down my body for a couple of minutes,” she says of the moment of inspiration. “I wrote all of the lyrics out on napkins. I could hear how I wanted everything to sound.” The songs came easily, but getting them out into the world was a different story. The songs had to be completely re-recorded after a freak accident destroyed the hard-drives and back-ups of the album’s audio files, forcing Esfandiari to continue ping-ponging between coasts. The title track “Loverboy” is an exercise in tension and dynamics, with seething, understated verses sparring against lush bombastic choruses. “Gasoline” is the record’s closest approximation of pop, though the ode to an old relationship’s stalemate is charged with minor key melodies and crashing guitar chords until it exudes a forlorn aura.

Dog Days was a much different outlet for Miserable, written while Esfandiari was still living in San Francisco and originally released as a limited edition cassette. The EP was born out of a week-long bender in Brooklyn. “It was my first stab at writing upbeat pop songs,” Esfandiari says of the record. And indeed, there’s something comforting and nostalgic in the shimmering dream pop of Dog Days. “Hotel” and “Fever” offer the kind of woozy, distortion-saturated melodicism of the late ‘80s Manchester scene while “High” and “Kiss” have a reverb-drenched amplified A.M. radio vibe. It’s an upbeat record filtered through late-night atmosphere.

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Zebulon

2478 N Fletcher Dr

Los Angeles, CA 90039

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