Protomartyr Share Video For “Polacrilex Kid”

Protomartyr Share Video For "Polacrilex Kid"
Protomartyr photo by Trevor Naud

Protomartyr present “Polacrilex Kid,” the final single/video ahead of their forthcoming album, Formal Growth In The Desert, available June 2nd via on Domino Records. The video features the heydays of television and previews Protomartyr’s forthcoming appearance on The Marty Singer Telethon, premiering on Highland Park TV on Thursday at 7pm ET. Featuring in-studio performances of “Polacrilex Kid” alongside debuts of Formal Growth In The Desert tracks “Fun In Hi Skool” and “3800 Tigers,” the telethon is hosted by Marty Singer (who Protomartyr fans may recognize from their “Processed By The Boys” video) and Sarah McMahon, and will feature other amazing performers, such as Stoney Sharp the wrangler, the Mt. Sinai Hospital Dance Team, and more. For a sneak peek of the album (possibly in the form of muzak?), call into the telethon’s hotline at 1-888-57-HLPTV.

The song derives its title from the chemical name for nicotine gum, something singer Joe Casey refers to as an “unwanted friend I’ve become acquainted with since getting on the quit smoking/start smoking again tilt-a-whirl.” At the song’s core, it delves into thematic material that is not unfamiliar in the Protomartyr canon: can you hate yourself and still deserve love?

Formal Growth In The Desert, was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas. Though Casey did have a humbling experience staring at awe-inspiring Sonoran rock formations and reckoning with his own smallness in the scheme of things, the group’s sixth album is not necessarily a nod to the sandy expanses of the Southwest. Formal Growth In The Desert proves 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.”

Casey describes the underlying theme of Formal Growth In The Desert as a 12-song testament to “getting on with life,” even when it feels impossibly hard.

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 – SOLD OUT
Wed. June 14 – Montreal, QC @ Fairmount
Thu. June 15 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Fri. June 16 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom – SOLD OUT
Sat. June 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s – SOLD OUT
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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