PREMIERE: Haste - Annabelle

Kelly Kirwan

Haste has been simmering for the past few years, a band of Portland natives and transplants that have navigated the city’s pockets of punk and house (in their various heydays) to stitch a signature sound together. Led by vocalist and guitarist Jasmine Wood, Haste has re-emerged as a three-piece outfit that's found a new niche in shoegaze, as evidenced by their latest single, "Annabelle."

The song is a blend of long, lingering guitar strokes that unfold in languid stretched, as if in ironic contradiction to the band's very name. Wood’s deep, full-bodied pitch melts into the chords, her tone that of an unfazed observer, the sparse lyrics lost in an elongated murmur. It’s a sidestep from Wood’s previous ventures, in which her voice played a more prominent role. On "Annabelle," steadfast percussion paired with the tangy pitch from a drawn-out guitar note is king, a delay pedal it’s queen.

Overall, "Annabelle" is a subdued sort of grunge. Haste gives their melodies a touch of grit but bypass the acerbic aftertaste, instilling a sense of calm even as the instruments veer into fuzzy reverb. The track seesaws between the stormy and the serene, subtly shifting in tone and pace but maintaining a natural progression. Wood’s voice at times has the soothing, almost inaudible quality of a prolonged exhale, even as the backing instruments skitter to high decibels. And as listeners, we stay the course amid the crinkling and far-reaching notes, awash in Haste’s blur.

Haste has teamed with Track & Field records for the album release, a tape label based in Portland, Or. Track & Field will be releasing "Annabelle" on limited cassette tape in November.