Votive Crown maintain momentum with lulling yet powerful track “Tarnished”

Brooklyn-based psychedelic indie R&B band Votive Crown release latest woozy cut “Tarnish”.

Led by Melissa Orr, Brooklyn trio Votive Crown have quietly honed their sound since their 2018 EP, helpfully named EP. With two singles already released, it’s been a productive year for them, despite the circumstances. Their latest track, “Tarnish,” melds together various genres to create a swirling soundscape.

From the opening lyric “Time moves in phases”, delicately sung by Orr, we are taken on a lazy journey of yearning. There’s an edge lying just beneath the mellow surface with the haphazard syncopated beats at the beginning, sounding oddly akin to an off-kilter Thundercat verse, and the driving guitar that makes itself known in the chorus. There’s a beautiful contrast of control and chaos displayed in “Tarnish”. It’s erratic but has a meandering sensibility also.

The song is “inspired by the myth of Echo and Narcissus, a hunter who is transfixed by his own reflection in the water and falls in. Echo is a nymph with the most beautiful voice who is turned to dust because of her unrequited love for him, her voice echoing endlessly in the woods.”

Fitting, considering the overall effect of “Tarnished,” is one of floating downstream, perhaps the self-same stream that Narcissus is transfixed by himself in.

The track comes accompanied by a video. Filmed in rural Pennsylvania, it’s “a commentary on beauty and narcissism that is ingrained in American culture.”

Rachel Chandler