For their debut EP, Torus Eyes enters a new sonic orbit toward another mythological dimension.
That dimension blends ethereal synthscapes, intergalactic drumbeats and Greek myths to form “Pythia,” an otherworldly, prophetical release from the Detroit-based electronic music duo of Rho Solomon and Gwendolyn Dot.
“Pythia was a Delphic oracle back in the day, and she was really respected and someone who we consider as a person of deep intuition and wisdom,” Dot said. “That’s something we both value in a person, but also in a woman, so we’re talking about the goddess within us all like this intuition and free spirit that we all have within us that guides us.”
Together, Dot and Solomon serve as wise, spiritual EDM leaders throughout their introspective four-track journey filled with intuition, chance and growth. On “Pythia,” they effortlessly move through a spectrum of new sonic boundaries ranging from darkwave to synth and goth pop to Italo disco.
Their musical journey encompasses heady, uplifting lyrical content aimed at evoking a soulful, calm intensity. At first listen, “Pythia,” which drops Friday, results in a space odyssey of the mind filled with endless possibilities and seeks creative inspiration from Enya, I Break Horses and Chairlift.
“I think in general we have a healing philosophy, it’s something that is in our personal lives. It’s like health and wellness, but it’s not so catchy like that. It’s a deep, spiritual aspect to both of our lives independent even of each other that we bring through to our creative work,” said Dot about the EP’s overall inspiration and creative direction.
“We don’t journal lyrics, we’re not diary lyricists. We’re both into concepts and big ideas and working with the collective unconscious and archetypes. I think mythology is something we’re both influenced by, and we both read a lot. Carl Jung is an inspiration for us.”
Deciphering ‘Pythia’ Track by Track
The duo’s hypnotic first single, “Mist of Serenity,” deeply explores the collective unconscious through sweeping synths fused with Dot’s soothing, mystical vocals and echoey, pulsating drumbeats. With relaxing tonal qualities, listeners can let go of the ego and allow gratitude to flood their soul.
The track also features a textural, sensual video made in collaboration with Colombian filmmaker Jeronimo Lopera. Imbued with vibrant colors and natural elements, the “Mist of Serenity” video envisions a deep, spiritual connection with others and reflects the intricacies between the water and the sky. It features shots filmed at a Detroit warehouse mixed with personal footage from a recent jaunt to Florida.
“‘Mist of Serenity’ contains stuff that I wouldn’t have done on my own. The strings and some of the stuff that Gwendolyn brought were really exciting to me as a collaborator,” said Solomon, whose band moniker combines a geometric reference with beautiful, soulful eyes. “As for the video, we slowly found out that Jeronimo loved that whole style of music for real. We opened for Xeno & Oaklander at UFO Factory, and he was like, ‘No way, I love them.’”
For their second single, “Ancestors,” Solomon and Dot create a mind-bending synthwave dance track that spotlights a collective desire to heal from despair and isolation. It opens with orchestral-like synths woven with classical undertones and deep synth beats while Solomon repeatedly asks, “Where are you now?” Through “Ancestors,” listeners bathe in aural textures while mentally entering a dreamy version of space to search for life’s true meaning.
“It’s a song Rho brought when we were first jamming in my apartment on the floor, and I’d never used a drum machine before,” said Dot, a classically trained pianist and self-taught producer/vocalist who formed Torus Eyes with Solomon in 2018. “That was one of the first songs we played live, and we were playing it and writing it at the same time.”
Created by filmmaker and visual artist CBruV, the video for “Ancestors” serves as a visual cosmic journey of death traveling through space. Through alien coral reef and dendritic mirror ribbons, death’s voyage through space reveals the beauty of the universe. The music’s rushing energy leads to a sonic wormhole odyssey and visualizes how a collective whole emerges from one source.
“I’ve known CBruV for many years, and he did a video for my solo project that was amazing, “Dot said. “He has a long career of making films, so he’s really awesome to work with. He finished that in like a month, so it’s all rendered, and there is no live footage.”
Besides “Ancestors” and “Mist of Serenity,” the duo’s brilliant EP features two other spellbinding tracks – “Headroom Divinity” and “Blood Red Moon.” On “Headroom Divinity,” Torus Eyes combines a slow-driving synth with a throbbing drumbeat while Dot’s vocals soar magically above it. For “Blood Red Moon,” the duo opens with bright synths that evaporate into dancy drums with Solomon’s intoxicating vocals.
Hosting a ‘Pythia’ Release Show Tonight
To celebrate the release of “Pythia,” Torus Eyes will host a show tonight at Detroit’s UFO Factory with Spellbooks, Primer and Cruce Grammatico. “We want to be close to our element. Electronic music is so vast, and at the same time it’s different, but it also comes from the same place,” said Solomon, who studied music technology at Wayne State University. “UFO Factory’s sound engineers know about electronic music and are interested in it. It harbors people that enjoy our music as well.”
After tonight’s release show, Torus Eyes will head to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and Philadelphia for a short fall tour. The duo will share their carefully-designed synthscapes, architectural chord progressions and retro-future driving drum machines with new audiences.
“We’re going fresh, but also with the energy and allure of like, ‘We just released an album.’ I think our music really works if you just sit back and listen to it,” Solomon said. “Right now, we want to do this tour and put our name out there as much as we can, and then we want to come back and hone in on our writing and production for an indefinite amount of time.”
Doors | 8 p.m. tonight
UFO Factory, 2110 Trumbull St. in Detroit
$7 at the door