Denial Waits is a new multinational band that recently released their debut EP, Noirbox. They describe their music as dark downtempo, but it’s also a welcome return of the hypnotic trip-hop sound made famous by bands like Massive Attack and Portishead.
The band is comprised of producer Friendly Timo from Finland, along with American musicians Amanda Jay from Oklahoma City and Ryan Thomas Mitchell from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The trio works remotely and has never actually met in person.
Denial Waits is barely a year old. Ryan and Timo met online through Ryan’s music blog, Darkness Calling, and began working together. Ryan says:
“Timo and I had already stumbled upon a unique sound together, but I knew we needed another vocal element to really elevate the whole thing. Luckily, we were able to bring Amanda on board, and the project really started to take shape.”
In early 2021, Denial Waits made their debut with “Father/Me,” an introspective song examining complex family relationships. The song was remixed by BlakLight, Jackson VanHorn, Control I’m Here, and others in the dark electronic scene.
“Father/Me” opens Noirbox, which features six tracks of mesmerizing dark electro with rich, downtempo beats. One of the things Denial Waits does very well is create contrast. Their sound’s haunting, moody atmospheres are shattered by beautiful, vibrant synth melodies, while Ryan’s raw, whispery vocals are met by Amanda’s lovely, gracefuls tone.
For me, the standout track from Noirbox is the latest single “Tumbleweed.” Showcasing the EP’s fastest beat, it’s full of glitchy electronics for maximum club impact. Ryan and Amanda share vocals, and their thrilling interplay creates a vibrant dynamic.