Formed just a year ago in NYC, vocalist/sampler operator Travis Johnson, drummer Steve Levine (both of Grooms), bassist Zoë Browne (of Field Mouse) and guitarist Jess Rees (of Russian Baths) came together to create a wholly new architecture under the guidance of engineer / producer Jeff Berner (of Psychic TV).
The group’s debut album, Unmask Whoever forms a casually menacing framework for lyrical themes of paranoia, exposed character flaws, and the broader human capacity for growth when an ugly truth is laid bare. Their new video and lead single “Calls Your Name” establishes the record’s spectral aura with nauseated electronic bells, and a relentless Geoff Barrow-esque drum beat beneath a half-sung, half-spoken lyrics inspired by C.S. Lewis’s 1945 novel The Great Divorce.
In the novel, characters stuck in a grey, joyless conception of hell repeatedly deny opportunities to be taken into heaven, instead making excuses as to why they should remain in their embittered purgatory states. Allegorically, this speaks to the kind of opportunity for metamorphosis and positive change that’s possible when the depths of disillusionment are reached, an idea which permeates much of the album.
1 – In Motion
2 – Calls Your Name
3 – Spring (Low Life)
4 – Nude Prince
5 – Looming
6 – Earth Angel
7 – Heartbeats
8 – I Like the Boys
9 – Violent and Vivisect
10 – Auto Sad
02/27: Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
04/02: Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right (Release Party)
04/16: Washington, DC – Rhizome
04/17: Richmond, VA – Fuzzy Cactus
04/18: Philadelphia, PA – Ortlieb’s