Los Angeles-based Historian have always exhibited a perpetual state of growth with each subsequent release. Their introverted music seems at odds with the increasingly extroverted cultural zeitgeist, but by aiming for emotional reaction with little regard to commercial viability, they have matured to embody an explorative, singular band.
2017’s LP Expanse was a watershed moment as they began to employ alternative string arrangements, fostering an ongoing collaboration with Quartetto Fantastico, whose members have recently worked with Father John Misty and Flying Lotus. Their dystopic space rock immediately drew comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, The National and The Smiths with lead singer Chris Karman’s Cohen-esque, chant-like inflection guiding the music into uncharted shamanistic territory.
Their newest LP, Distant Wells, conveys a similar panoramic scope of sound, but is more careful and concentrated, like a male counterpart to Julia Solter’s Ekstasis. Synth washes are met with Bitches Brew-style freak outs, and the bands now signature orchestration is pushed further into strange waters. “I felt like I was in a season of drought when I was making it” reflects Karman. “I was digging for sustenance, working through the anxiety and sadness I was feeling and I did finally touch a place of hope.”