Posted April 25, 2014 by Cooper Point Journal in Features
 
 

Hot Tears: “the chorus”

Photo by BLAINE EWIG

Photo by BLAINE EWIG

Hot Tears holds an important place in Olympia’s music scene. In the midst of the city’s impressive music communities, it’s easy to break off into cliques. Different styles of music can sometimes feel unwelcoming and exclusive to outsiders, but Hot Tears evades genres and resists categorization. The group recently returned from a multiple-month tour, promoting their new album, “the chorus,” which they released in January.

Molly Fischer, who is Hot Tears’ driving force, said that the name came from a book called “How To Please Your Man.” “I was reading it ironically with my girlfriend,

Molly said, “and there was some warning about a necessary step to pleasing your man, and thus avoiding those hot tears. That made us laugh, and also that phrase really resonated with the songs I was writing.”

Hot Tears reclaims and negates a sexually oppressive construct, while ironically reading a how-to-be-a-good-woman book. Clearly, Hot Tears is an Olympia band. The song titled “The Rain,” in which Fischer sings, “And I do miss the rain/ It pains me to always be dry,” also reflects a very Olympian attitude.

BY BLAINE EWIG AND JOSH WOLF

There is something personal about the music, an element of vulnerability mixed with a looming feeling of melancholy. Fischer’s voice is heavy, daunting, and all the while beautiful. The progressive build-ups of the guitar create suspension, while the vocals move calmly over. Erica Freas of RVIVR plays cello, which adds a somber darkness to the guitar’s drone.

But the songs aren’t simply sad—they have a fleeting brightness mixed into the heavy chords, and the deep crescendos are always released with cathartic breakdowns. Humbly sitting during live performances, Fischer plays guitar while simultaneously hitting a bass drum with her right foot and bells with her left. The rhythms of the bass and bell are jarring and provide the necessary transition to release the tension in layers.

The rhythms are also repetitive, which adds to the hypnosis of Hot Tears. The last song, “Follow You,” features a choir of over a dozen people singing “we grow/ all night,” behind Fischer’s vocal lead, which gives the song a transfixing repetition, and also adds a community vibe. Strongly feminine, there is a witchy aura in the choir, as if their chanting is spell casting.