Kalaloch (pronounced "clay-lock") is the duo of Alex and Jen Carmichael. Their press release charmingly takes form of a Q&A, and one of the first questions is:

Are they one of those cutesy married bands?
Their first 7-inch--which celebrates its release tonight at a show at Dunes--pairs two slow, droney tunes on very handsome white vinyl with spackles of grey. On each song, Alex and Jen take sturdy chord progressions and sing melodies and counter-melodies on top, with interlocking vocal parts that sometimes come together and often branch apart. At its best it feels like listening to two songs at once, kind of like that Simon & Garfunkel song about cooking spices.

The instrumental backdrop, though, is a bit more sinister, and it really grounds Kalaloch, taking them out of the cutesy-pie Mates of State married pop ghetto. Droning, often-looped guitars dissolve into feedback while cymbal splashes (courtesy of guest drummer Dennis Ayres) create a steady rhythm. A-side "Corridor" slowly builds up a pattern, then tears it down, with the instruments dropping out. When they come back in, everything has grown in intensity, capitalizing on the momentum built over the course of the song.

B-side "Pacific Shores" follows a similar template, opening with full-sounding pulsing bass. The two vocal parts are eerily disconnected throughout the slow song, like a conversation where two people have something very important to say to each other but have difficulty listening to the other person. It works on a dramatic level, and the slow-building tune uses its pallette of bass, cymbal splashes, and slow-building noise to built up a wave that crests in a wash of gentle feedback.


Kalaloch - "Corridor"

Kalaloch play their Portland record release show tonight at Dunes, 1909 NE MLK, 9 pm, $5.