McKenzie Stubbert


Release Notes

Label: Curious Music
Release: Waiting Room
Date: August 18th
Directed by: Habitual Loss
Edited by: TJ Hellmuth and Lily Skove
Featuring: Crissi Badurina & Sarah Minor

This morning I am listening to a collection of fragile, intimate, and lightly sparkling tracks by McKenzie Stubbert, an Emmy-nominated and AMP Award-winning composer from Los Angeles. Most of the pieces feature a 1949 Acrosonic piano which is “riddled with aches and clicks and sputters“, sometimes sounding as if it was a prepared instrument with all of its mechanical percussive elements [often reminding me of Hauschka]. There are many emotional moments on the record, often transmitting solitude, melancholy, and even despair. Titled Waiting Room, the album and its cover art capture a particular time and space when we are left a little helpless, and all we could do is listen to the universe trying to tell us something so that things can finally resolve. Just yesterday, my friend Brian Housmann premiered a track called “Err” on his fantastic Stationary Travels site, describing it as “a hauntingly atmospheric piece built around two overlapping piano parts that blossom into what seems like a quiet explosion of rueful self-awareness.” Today, I’m sharing a video by Habitual Loss, which perfectly captures the tension of the atmosphere, creating a “narrative of our two protagonists… sisters, spectres, or lovers… trapped somewhere in-between this world and the next…” Here, Brian’s previously quoted description of “a hauntingly atmospheric piece” is especially apt as it takes the listener and the viewer into a very different, unobservable world. It’s a mesmerising short you won’t want to miss…

“Err” was written as misshapen duet for two pianos. Both parts are nearly identical being played nearly together. When I saw the finished video, it’s twin/sister/lover dichotomy with sinister religious undertones brought out colors in the piece that I didn’t appreciate were there.

— McKenzie Stubbert

Once again, the full album, titled Waiting Room, is out on August 18th via Curious Music. If you liked the video, you can also check out another one, called “Falling” made for the album by the very same crew.