Sometimes blank space can be more devastating than the most earnest, emotional shout; a quiet stare can punch harder than a kicking drum. Maryn Jones proves that in eight songs on The Offer, her debut cassette under the moniker Yowler. Jones is best known as the singer, songwriter and guitarist of Columbus pop punk four-piece All Dogs, but on her own, she works masterfully in moods and metaphors. “Got to disappear in some great void of water, want to be arrested by the sound,” she sings to open the record, over a spare, echoing guitar riffs. It’s a warning of sorts, a slow glimpse into the tape’s ever-present images of water, ice, crashing waves, rising tides, steady rain.
Water can represent a lot of meanings and mythologies: changing forms, the fluidity of life, purity and new beginnings. Jones explores those ideas and more in crushing songs that meditate on doubt, longing, confusion, change. “You can lead me to the water but you cannot make me drink,” she sings over the slow, resistant beat of a tambourine on “Yowler”, a song that shifts between quickly finger-picked folk guitars and a meandering, muffled keyboard line. There are shades of the angst conveyed in All Dogs; traces of the mysticism and folklore explored by Saintseneca, another band that Jones plays with. The result is a collection of songs that’s piercing and poignant; ones to just drown in completely.
The Offer is out today on Double Double Whammy; stream it below.