February 13th, 2018 | Album reviews

Slow Growth
Bite The Cactus / Lost Sound Tapes

Many might know Adrian Chi Tenney from her performances with raw-and-raucous garage-punk acts like Spokenest and God Equals Genocide, but in addition to her more aggressive output, she’s also spent the last five years recording and releasing some of beautiful and intimate bedroom-penned folk rock under the name Badlands. On Badlands’ recent Slow Growth, the sound Tenney was honing on her debut full-length So Little and the folowing “Dark Dreams” 7” comes fully into its own. Through sparse instrumentation and vocal harmonies that glide by like a warm desert wind, Badlands takes listeners on a journey through love and heartache, personal introspection and reflection, and social and political awareness. Much like the arid landscapes that Tenney draws inspiration from, these recordings are stripped down and clean—literally without a hint of affecting studio production. Because of this, the record captures her at her most exposed and vulnerable—which somehow makes it all the more powerful.

—Simon Weedn