While writing their second album, Love, Muscle and Marrow’s Kira Clark lost a close family member. This set the thematic tone that pervades Love. Death and the gradual decline of the family, but also the nature of love in general—how to love better, how to love more or at all, what happens when someone else loves you, and the trap that love ultimately becomes, but also the freedom it affords. Formed in 2013 by Kira Clark (voice, guitar) and Keith McGraw (drums, sounds), Muscle and Marrow quickly crafted a style that is their own. A sound that is delicate, operatic and extremely heavy, yet difficult to categorize. They have frequently played with heavier acts such as The Body, Author and Punisher, and True Widow, but Muscle and Marrow is not a traditional metal band, if a metal band at all. They are something unique and dark, yet undeniably heavy and familiar. Muscle and Marrow’s debut album The Human Cry was released in June, 2014 by Belief Mower Records. Its songs were arresting and hysterical, but also distinctly feminine. Pitchfork called it “gorgeous,” with Clark’s voice alternating between plaintive wails and guttural moans that soared over waves of pulsing drums and stifling guitars. Muscle and Marrow toured across the United States and in October, 2015, the duo posted up at Machines with Magnets (The Body, Lightning Bolt, Marissa Nadler, Deer Tick) in Providence, RI to record what was to become their sophomore album, Love. The band took their time in the studio and laid down seven tracks that delve further into deep electronic territories, but still incorporate the familiar droning guitars, ethereal vocals and tribal drums throughout. Along with themes of death and loss, Love touches on feminism and female archetypes, a topic that Kira Clark is very interested in. “It’s cathartic and alluring for me to delve into feminine madness because, of course, that character is inside me somewhere all of the time and to give her permission to surface in my art is powerful,” comments Clark. This new collection of songs are their most powerful and fragile yet, bringing the band to the forefront of dark experimental music.