Protomartyr Share Video For “Elimination Dances”

Protomartyr have shared their new single/video, “Elimination Dances,” a track lifted off their forthcoming album, Formal Growth In The Desert
Protomartyr have shared their new single/video, “Elimination Dances"

Protomartyr have shared their new single/video, “Elimination Dances,” a track lifted off their forthcoming album, Formal Growth In The Desert, out June 2nd via Domino Domino Records. Post-quarantine, Casey and his bandmates regrouped with a sense of uncertainty, questioning if and how to continue after the turbulence of the pandemic years. They found themselves using that ambivalence to hone a song they named after a chapter from a 1950’s teen dance manual. “Elimination Dances” refers to a game where “you get tapped out when you lose the dance,” and that felt an apt metaphor for just surviving. Life is a struggle, but “you might as well keep dancing until the tap comes,” Casey says.

Following lead single “Make Way,” “Elimination Dances” is presented alongside a video directed by Yoonha Park, and features dancer Kota Yamazaki. “My dad once told me ‘Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end the faster it goes,’” explains Park. “That idea along with the lyrics led to the idea of a choreographic pattern that repeats as it grows outward in an expanding spiral. The choreography repeats with each cycle but has to be danced faster and faster to keep pace with the ‘pale youth’ until eventually devolving into chaos. I recently learned that the toilet paper quote was actually by Andy Rooney.”

Formal Growth In The Desert, was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas. And though frontman Joe Casey did have a humbling experience staring at awe-inspiring Sonoran rock formations and reckoning with his own smallness in the scheme of things — as recounted in today’s “Elimination Dances” — the album’s title is not necessarily a nod to the sandy expanses of the southwest. Detroit, too, is like a desert. “The desert is more of a metaphor or symbol,” Casey says, “of emotional deserts, or a place or time that seems to lack life.” The desert brings an existential awareness that is ultimately internal.

The “growth” came from a period of colossal transition for Casey, including the death of his mother, who struggled with Alzheimer’s for a decade and a half. Now 45, Casey had lived in the family home in northwest Detroit all his life. In 2021, though, a rash of repeated break-ins signaled that it was time to finally move out. Protomartyr’s music — more spacious and dynamic than ever — helped pull Casey up. “The band still being viable was very important to me,” Casey adds, “and it definitely lifted my spirits.”

Having long served as Protomartyr’s unofficial musical director, guitarist Greg Ahee co-produced Formal Growth In The Desert alongside Jake Aron (Snail Mail, L’Rain). Ahee knew what Casey was going through and the challenges he’d been processing, and as Ahee was conceptualizing the music, he thought about how to make it all “like a narrative film.” The filmic sensibility is manifest in Casey’s storytelling, too, whether he’s critiquing ominous techno-capitalism or processing aging, the future, and the possibility of love.

Protomartyr 2023 Tour Dates

Tue. June 13 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Wed. June 14 – Montreal, QC @ Fairmount
Thu. June 15 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Fri. June 16 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Sat. June 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sun. June 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Tue. June 20 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Wed. June 21 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Thu. June 22 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Fri. June 23 – Nashville, TN @ Blue Room
Sat. June 24 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
Mon. June 26 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
Tue. June 28 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
Wed. June 29 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Sat. July 1 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Sun. July 2 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Moe’s Alley
Wed. July 5 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Thu. July 6 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
Fri. July 7 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
Sat. July 8 – Spokane, WA @ Lucky You
Tue. July 11 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Wed. July 12 – Madison, WI @ High Noon
Thu. July 13 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Fri. Aug. 4 – Genk, BE @ Absolutely Free Festival
Sat. Aug. 5 – Haldern, DE @ Haldern Pop Festival
Sun. Aug. 6 – Frankfurt, DE @ Zoom
Mon. Aug. 7 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
Wed. Aug. 9 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
Thu. Aug. 10 – Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
Fri. Aug. 11 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb lfor Bach
Sat. Aug. 12 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Mon. Aug. 14 – Eindhoven, NL @ Effenaar
Tue. Aug. 15 – Hannover, DE @ Indiego Glocksee
Thu. Aug. 17 – Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen
Fri. Aug. 18 – Bodo, NO @ Parkenfestivalen
Sat. Aug. 19 – Trondheim, NE @ Pstereo
Thu. Oct. 19 – Galway, IE @ Roisin Dubh
Fri. Oct. 20 – Limerick, IE @ Dolan’s Warehouse
Sat. Oct. 21 – Dublin, IE @ The Button Factory
Mon. Oct. 23 – Manchester, UK @ YES (The Pink Room)
Tue. Oct. 24 – Bristol, UK @ The Trinity Centre
Wed. Oct. 25 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds
Thu. Oct. 26 – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
Sat. Oct. 28 – Rouen, FR @ Le 106
Sun. Oct. 29 – Antwerp, BE @ Trix Club
Mon. Oct. 30 – Groningen, DE @ Vera
Tue. Oct. 31 – Hamburg, DE @ Banhof Pauli
Wed. Nov. 1 – Leipzig, DE @ UT Connewitz
Thu. Nov. 2 – Berlin, DE @ Hole44
Sat. Nov. 4 – Athens, GR @ Gagarin 205
Mon. Nov. 6 – Munich, DE @ Strom
Tue. Nov. 7 – Zurich, CH @ Bogen F
Thu. Nov. 9 – Paris, FR @ La Station
Fri. Nov. 10 – Lyon, FR @ Marché Gare
Sat. Nov. 11 – Annecy, FR @ Le Brise Glace
Mon. Nov. 13 – Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv Club
Tue. Nov. 14 – Torino, IT @ Spazio 211
Wed. Nov. 15 – Marseille, FR @ Le Makeda
Thu. Nov. 16 – Montpellier, FR @ Le Rockstore

Pre-Order Formal Growth In The Desert by Protomartyr HERE


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