Photay – aka Brooklyn by way of Woodstock producer Evan Shornstein, recently announced his debut album Onism, the LP is due out via Astro Nautico on August 11th. Along, With today’s announcement he shared the lead-single, “The Everyday Push“.
The track features the Balafon (a favorite insturment of Shornstein’s from Conakry, Guinea), highlighting his adoration for utilizing instruments from around the globe to deliver a sound that feels deeply indebted to the places he’s been and wants to go to. In describing the track, Shornstein says it “represents life’s overwhelming highs & lows and the energy or mantra that pushes one through each day.”
Nature documentaries of the 1970s used synthesizer music to score messages about species endangerment and environmental disaster prevention. Electronic instrumentation was in itself an ominous warning of the reckless advancement of technology and an effort to audition a utopian harmony between people and machines and nature.
Onism inherits the same historical tension in an age of climate change and social media addiction. It is also a reaction of personal conditions, a meditation on place, community, and its creator’s own embodied history. The word ‘onism,’ invented by John Koenig, means the frustration of being stuck in just one body that inhabits only one place at a time.
Shornstein contrasts spacious near-silence with bombastic saturated peaks. Fangled robotic tones (“Screens”) meet with forest oor ambience (“Storm”), evoking visual designs for the built and natural worlds, while the overwhelm of metropolis (“Balsam Massacre”) and the digital age (“The Everyday Push”) is eased by the liberatory forests of Woodstock (“Outré Lux” feat. Madison Mcferrin) and assumptions into imagined realities (“Bombogenesis”). The demonic swing of “Balsam Massacre” imagines the sounds of a tree’s innards as it is felled with a chainsaw, while ’Storm’ thunders distantly in triumphant reverie. On ‘Aura,’ Shornstein sings for the second time in his career (“Take the time to hear yourself”). The message hints at a common denom- inator to his meditations, resonating also as a warning to the world, an everyday push to the role of electronic music in storytelling the future of the global environmentalist movement.
The Everyday Push
Outré Lux (ft Madison McFerrin)
Summer Tour Dates
8/17 – Brooklyn – Babys
8/25 – Philadelphia – Johnny Brenda’s
8/26 – Montreal – Newspeak
9/15 – San Francisco – Swedish American Hall
9/16 – Seattle – Barboza
9/17 – Vancouver – Cobalt
9/29 – Austin – Empire Control Room