ManifestiV is a tough band to categorize. Consisting of an electronic vibraphone played by Eve Walding (aka EvE) and guitar player Paragraph Taylor, this experimental industrial couple trades vocal duties while making music that sounds synth-backed and filled with crushed beats and fuzzy guitars.
ManifestiV released their second album, God Is a Martian, in December of last year as a follow-up to their debut Einer Sie Gern, which was released four years prior. Now, this duo of mortician musicians has already returned with a surprise three-track EP, a third release appropriately titled 3vE, which the band premiered on streaming platforms last Friday.
The original album was recorded by Nate Nauseda between 2017 and 2018, between the band's hectic tour schedule, at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, California, where the likes of Tom Waits, Primus and Faith No More have also recorded. The album was mixed and mastered by CJ Bills in Leander, Texas.
“The songs from God Is a Martian were so multi-faceted,” Taylor says, “we wanted to celebrate vastly different angles on how to enjoy them. Instead of our originally intended long collection of covers, we chose our favorite and lit the songs from God Is a Martian with fresh perspectives after having played them on the road for years.”
3vE consists of two remixes from God is a Martian: an analog-laden version of the original, a stalking, negative-space-filled instrumental, "Baroque" by Bijou Noir in Prague, and a take on "Fib Knot" by Bloodied in North Richland Hills, who makes the track feel like it should be played in a club scene from The Matrix.
“Bijou Noir treated ‘Baroque’ nearly the polar opposite of the original,” Taylor says, “emphasizing and layering EvE’s vibes over doubled-up, analog drums with tastefully minimal guitar.”
“Bloodied,” Taylor continues, “chose an even more diminished key for ‘Fib Knot’ implementing his dark dance style under brooding lyrics.”
The EP also features a brand-new third track, a slow and sleepy revision of Radiohead's "Daydreaming" from their 2016 release A Moon Shaped Pool, in which Taylor’s deep vocals add a nightmarish quality to the song.
“The eeriness of the original take on ‘Daydreaming’ struck us at a time when we’d just moved back to Dallas from Vallejo as the world and country took a dark turn along with our lives,” Taylor explains. “Thom Yorke and his significant other — since before Radiohead garnered international notoriety — split just before the CD dropped, together for more than half their lives. The video features Thom walking through 26-some-odd rooms, each standing for a year they were together, and at the end you can hear it sampled on our Bandcamp version (the words) ‘half of my life’ is looped backwards. That desolation resonated and stuck with us, especially when we tracked it.”
The band recorded the track last Christmas Eve in below-freezing weather using a van as a vocal booth in Canton.
“The circumstances for the vocal take happened by happy accident,” Taylor remembers. “We’d done a series in the past on our SoundCloud for reference we called ‘Eve to Eve’ with a cover recorded each night between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
“This song began the series amidst our landing back from months — or in fragments, years — of touring our first record from California. Then all of a sudden, I was back in the death care industry in Texas, short hair, off tour and with way less time. I wanted to relay the feeling of having done so much in so little time, then being right back to it as if I never had at all in the recording.
“Christmas Eve in Canton at my parents’ ranch was a bit quiet for a vocal take, so I took it out to the van to track in below freezing weather. I felt it would wreak havoc on my voice, but the withholding of painful expression to keep from freezing served the take nicely and aptly reflected our darker perspective.”
More covers recorded for the collection will be released exclusively to members of the band’s Patreon page. The release of 3vE aligns with the release of the video for the original God Is a Martian version of "Fib Knot" on the band’s YouTube page: