Charalambides founders Tom and Christina Carter dedicate themselves to a vision of iconoclastic music as transformative force. Touching on the outer limits of acid folk, psych rock, and improvisation, their music remains uniquely personal and consistent through apparently extreme shifts in sound and performance tactics.

The group formed in Houston, Texas in 1991 amid a flock of fearlessly exploratory rock bands, including stoner rock pioneers The Mike Gunn (which Tom co-founded in 1989). Charalambides—initially a trio—played a few shows before reverting to a duo and releasing Our Bed Is Green on cassette in 1992. Our Bed Is Green’s low-fi, avant-bedroom aesthetic attracted the attention of Philadelphia’s Siltbreeze records—famed for their injection of The Dead C, the Shadow Ring, and Harry Pussy into adventurous American skulls—who released Union and Market Square, the first two Charalambides LPs, to a wider freak-rock audience.

Charalambides went on to produce dozens of LPs, CDs, and cassettes on various other labels, including Eclipse, Time-Lag, and Kranky, sometimes as a trio—first with guitarist Jason Bill, and later with pedal steel player and vocalist Heather Leigh—before finally cementing their duo configuration in 2004.

From their 2006 Kranky release A Vintage Burden through 2011’s Exile, Tom and Christina reaffirmed their dedication to song-as-mantra. Yet other recordings (like 2001’s Unknown Spin) whisper of interstellar voids filled with silence, while others (like 2004’s Joy Shapes) howl with fiery catharsis and gnosis. Charalambides: Tom and Christina Carter, their 2018 2xLP on Drawing Room Records, is their most current offering.

Charalambides: Tom and Christina Carter

Despite Tom and Christina Carter’s prolific solo careers and numerous other projects, Charalambides has existed in an unbroken trajectory for over two-and-a-half decades, outlasting the genres that critics and other yardstick-makers have tried to cram them into. Their recent performances and recordings retain the directness and delicate menace that mark their early releases, even as they explore an interlocking musical telepathy honed by years of artistic collaboration.

Aptly tilted Charalambides: Tom and Christina Carter, the newest album from Charalambides furthers the duo’s deep psychic understanding of music. Laid down in two sessions with no overdubs, the album entwines their best known approaches into a raw, fragile, wordless and hypnotic whole. It’s definitely the duo at their most exquisite.

Details on the album:

For release number thirty-two, Drawing Room brings Charalambides: Tom and Christina Carter to the universe. Recorded in Houston in 2017 in two sessions with no overdubs, the album showcases the duo at the height of everything. It’s a stunning beauty indeed. Mastered by Josh Bonati and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, the deluxe 2xLP comes in a full-colored sleeve accompanied with a full-colored insert. A digital release is also available.

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Charalambides - BW - Medium

Charalambides - Color - Medium
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Drawing Room Records