I’m a sucker for a “less is more” musician who can rustle up a song that’s as striking as anything bursting out of a Marshall stack. So I was basically fated to like Lew Houston, who records solo antifolk tunes as Breatherholes. I heard about him late last month, when Decoder Magazine published a blog post about Breatherholes’ new full-length, Come Home, and Houston’s work won me over instantly.
Decoder posted the slightly messy and melancholic “From in the Grass,” whose home-recorded charm comes in part from its shortcomings—its kitchen-sink percussion is ever so slightly off the beat, an acoustic guitar rings out a little too loud, and the overdubbed vocals sometimes slide out of tune. If anything, though, those “mistakes” underscore its heart and sincerity. That song, combined with the econo DIY aesthetics of the Breatherholes cassettes I’ve seen and the project’s enigmatic online presence, reminded me of a certain local antifolk musician I stumbled upon nearly two years ago. Naturally I had to reach out to the person behind Breatherholes to find out more.