PRAISES, the project helmed by Toronto-based artist, Jesse Crowe is today returning with their new single/video, “March” which comes alongside news of their second studio album, In This Year: Hierophant – out June 17. Through instinct, talent, and of course, blind luck, Praises – who now operate as a full band – harnessed their sound through the course of the pandemic, leaning into the creative spirit and a recording process reminiscent of a Bad Seeds project where key players wrote their parts from only a demo track and a feeling. The result pushes beyond their industrial synth-based offerings, incorporating the intensity of their highly regarded live performances with an intimate, collaborative, and distanced songwriting process.
As with their acclaimed debut album, In This Year: Ten Of Swords, Jesse Crowe works with career-long collaborator Josh Korody (Beliefs, Breeze, Candle Studio) on the mix and with Heather Kirby mastering (Dreamlands). Every new year Crowe draws a tarot card to represent what is to come, shaping the character of the coming album and its title. On In This Year: Hierophant, Praises delves deeper into a world of hypnotic vocals, textured synths, and arrangements to transcendent effect. This album expands Praises’ sonic palette stylistically and lyrically, exploring themes of human reckoning and hope.
The songs on this new record grew both slowly and reflective and this first single, “March” acts as a call to action and a sister song to “A World on Fire” from 2021’s EP4. The song explores the gaslighting of colonial extraction industries and the culpability of those who stay silent, beginning with a motorik beat and crafting the tension with a full band in tow. When discussing the new album, Crowe says: “This record dances like a storybook, flirting with vignettes of hidden gender, through the birth of a child, a poisonous new world, matriarchal death, and transcendent love. A graduation beyond a solo project.”
Praises first emerged at a time when Beliefs co-front, Jesse Crowe, struggled to find an outlet to release their inner conversations into a public forum. Into a place where their creative outlet has evolved and spanned over a course of four EPs and two albums. Dark and theatrical, Crowe’s influences move through the hum of Rachel Goswell’s shoegazing, the drive of Patti Smith’s poetic delivery, blending the art-gloom of Beth Gibbons’ sultry jazz with Annie Lennox’s avant-gardism found on a “Night Full of Tension” and “Sweet Surprise.”