Wendy Eisenberg adds depth to everything they touch. Whether it's the refreshingly abrasive edge they bring to their folk-adjacent, jazz-based solo songs or the dissonant earth tones they add to their free improvisation with legendary experimenters such as John Zorn, they have a knack for making fresh tracks in well-trodden soil. Editrix, their hard-rocking trio with Steve Cameron of the powerviolence outfit Tortured Skull and Josh Daniel of the jittery post-punk group Landowner, announced themselves in 2019 with a four-track tape titled Talk To Me and followed it up last year with their first full-length, Tell Me I'm Bad.
Last month, they dropped the imperatives to announce their sophomore LP, Editrix II: Editrix Goes To Hell, and share its lead single, "One Truck Gone." And today, they're premiering a second offering called "Hieroglyphics" with The FADER as they prepare for the record's June 3 release via Exploding In Sound.
The new song finds Eisenberg reimagining heavy music's often over-salted emotional flavor profile with the palate-cleansing secret sauce of vulnerability. But anyone so blind as to mistake this honesty for weakness will curdle at the sound of their bone-chilling whisper, backed by Daniel's thrashing kit work, Cameron's filthy picking, and her own nu-metal-inspired guitar line.
"I hate this part / It leaves me so exposed / Don't talk abut that / Don't talk about how it made you grow," Eisenberg mouths at the start of the track. Later, they harmonize behind their breathy vocal line, creating a demonic chorus as the instrumental runs wild beneath them.
Listen to "Hieroglyphics" and read our interview with Eisenberg below.
Wendy Eisenberg Q&A
The FADER: "Hieroglyphics" and "One Truck Gone" are essentially nu-metal tracks. Did you grow up on nu-metal, and what inspired you to put your own spin on the genre in 2022?
Wendy Eisenberg: I grew up in the general universe of nu-metal, coming to consciousness in the Korn/Linkin/Slipknot years and connecting to it, but I have always been too softhearted to find myself in that “lifestyle” (plus, I was 8). All of us in the band love System of a Down, and various metal subgenres deeply, but whatever particularly nu-metal aesthetics that came through in these songs were just what the songs themselves seemed to be asking for. Basically, we didn’t set out to write nu-metal, but it was the sound surrounding our formative years.
The lead vocal line is whispered in a really steady tone throughout the new song, which creates a great chilling effect. What led to that decision, and do you have any favorite whispered lead vocals from other songs of any genre?
I find whispering to be sexy and intense and off-putting in equal measure. I’d wanted to have a whisper song for a while, especially during the Paula Cole phase I had when we were writing this record. The verses of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” are unbelievably beautiful to me, and were a direct inspiration here.
The thing that struck me most about this song was its lyrical vulnerability in contrast with the heavy instrumental. Do you think the hardcore scene could use a healthy injection of vulnerability?
While I love hardcore, it’s tough for me to consider myself a dedicated-enough member of that scene for it to be appropriate for me to speculate on what lyrical choices would make a positive impact on it. There should be as much a space for healthy verbalized aggression as there is for vulnerability; both take conviction and risk, which is most of [what] I care about in music.