Standout Track: No. 3, “A Thousand Breaths,” a British-style folk song flavored with classic D.C. witch-rock à la Quix*o*tic. “The day is done but not quite gone/A thousand breaths speak as one,” cellist Amy Domingues incants before descending into the hardest bowed riffage this side of “Kashmir.”
Musical Motivation: After releasing an album of mostly instrumental music in 2003, Domingues wanted to move in a more song-oriented direction. “A Thousand Breaths” was one of her first attempts to do so using her cello. “It’s challenging to use the cello as a songwriting instrument,” says Domingues. “It’s different than a piano or a guitar. It took some time to get the hang of singing and playing at the same time.” Her main inspiration was traditional British folk music, but she acknowledges a debt to more contemporary acts. “I do enjoy Sabbath and Zeppelin—using riffs as inspiration. That definitely leaked its way into this song.”
In Through the clout Door: Although Garland of Hours has been a band for several years, live appearances are rare; Domingues tends to get sidetracked with other projects. She has recorded with artists like Ted Leo and Dead Meadow, scored the documentary The Weather Underground, and toured regularly with Benjy Ferree (who opens the CD release party May 15 at the Black Cat). Domingues changes her backing band—which has included Mary Timony, Brendan Canty, and Brandon Butler—to accommodate crazed schedules. “The people I enjoy playing with were all pretty busy,” Domingues says.