(Headroom photo by Ellen Goggins)
Headroom first took flight in 2016 as the solo outlet for New Haven musician Kryssi Battalene, née of regarded noise project Colorguard & guitarist for psychedelic voyagers, Mountain Movers. Headroom sprung forth from the fertile and underrated New Haven scene - a musical patchwork of punk, hardcore, noise & experimental music all sharing the same stages & DIY spots and creating a musical identity all their own.
Battalene's talent flourished & soon enough, her signature style of guitar was infiltrating & influencing a new crop of New Haven musicians; part Twisted Village / PSF Records-influenced white noise maelstrom, part nuanced, beautiful six-stringed draperies. Battalene’s talents have graced recordings & stages with Estrogen Highs, Medication, Secret Treaties & Stefan Christiansen & Friends, but “Head In the Clouds” marks the first long-player for this, her current solo project (after a well regarded cassette EP on the C/Site imprint).
Across the album’s alternatingly harsh & beautiful five tracks, Battalene masterfully coaxes her guitar into a myriad of tastes and textures, from lumbering opener “How To Grow Evil Flowers”s psychedelic squall to more placid tracks like “Millers Pond” or “Flower of Light”, where she tempers her feedback to guide the tunes to new horizons. The title track’s pulsing guitar/synth interplay offers an eight minute respite before swan diving back into a fog of feedback. “Head In the Clouds” could be seen as the companion piece to Mountain Movers’ ‘s/t’ 2017 album, but with Battalene at the helm, Headroom eschews that band’s (ever so slightly) more traditional take in favor of a dizzyingly creative experimentalism. “Head In the Clouds” is an album meant to get lost in.