Posts Tagged ‘Priests’

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In 2017, Washington D.C. band Priests released its debut full-length, Nothing Feels Natural, which became one of our favourite albums of that year. Today, the band announces its follow-up, called The Seduction of Kansas, out in April via the band’s own Sister Polygon Records.

The title track with its accompanying video directed by singer Katie Alice Greer is a reminder of what makes the band’s sharp, cerebral music so exciting. “The Seduction of Kansas” follows in Priests‘ tradition of reckoning with complex questions about identity especially national identity through minute details; via a press release, the band says it illustrates “Kansas’ potent place in our national imagination.” (It also proves that Greer can sing “Applebee’s” more seductively than perhaps anyone else making music today.)

On the album, the band’s core trio (Greer, drummer Daniele Daniele and guitarist G.L. Jaguar) is joined by multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin, who collaborated on songwriting with the band and played bass. The band also worked with producer John Congleton, recording for two weeks at his studio in Dallas. And should you need a reading list to accompany your anticipation, the band mentions some intriguing references for the album, including Chris Kraus‘ essay “Pay Attention” and Eileen Myles’ The New F*** You to The Twilight Zone.

The Seduction of Kansas is out April 8th viaSister Polygon Records.

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Priests

D.C. foursome Priests have followed up 2017’s Nothing Feels Natural with a special treat for superfans: three new versions of “Suck,” a saxophone-laced lament about someone who, well, sucks. “How can you tell that I always mean to be mean when you’re not even listening?” reads one tell-tale line from the song. The band noted on Instagram that they originally wanted this six-and-a-half minute version of the song to close out the record, instead of the four-plus-minute version that ended up there. This extended play is a definitively funkier mix. But the real treat here is basically a wholly new song: “Suck” as remixed by Meg Remy of U.S. Girls. Remy slows down the whole track, giving it a chopped-and-screwed makeover. Katie Alice Greer’s vocals are several pitches lower, accented by a funky horn riff and a repetitive, hypnotic dance beat. It’s a perfect offering for late-night summer dance parties.

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Released May 5th, 2018

Priests

Katie Alice Greer is the loudspeaker we’ve been begging for. The Priests frontwoman delivers every note throughout DC-based punk band’s excellent debut Nothing Feels Natural, with power, bravado and most importantly, authority. At one turn, Greer calls out an alpha-male lacking in self-awareness on “JJ”; on another, she delivers a feminist manifesto disguised as the quasi-Chomskian “Pink White House.” Operating on their own Sister Polygon Records label, Greer and Priests (also one of this year’s best live bands) are the next important female-fronted punk band in line (think Savages) to shatter the complacent patriarchy

priests nothing feels natural

Nothing Feels Natural, the first studio album from Washington D.C.-based post punk group Priests, is loaded with anger and anxiety, It’s a roaring album that spans the genre from the experimental to the classic. “Appropriate,” the opening track, combines harsh punk minimalism—distant-sounding brush strokes from drummer Daniele Daniele and robust vocals and lyrics from singer Katie Alice Greer. This song is one of the most interesting on the album, combining the structure of punk with experimental jazz-skronk sax, Mixing the parts of both genres works surprisingly well for Priests.

“JJ” is a quintessential punk track about a relationship got wrong, with Greer ultimately realizing that writing songs for this person (“The most interesting thing about you/Was that you smoked Parliaments, the babiest cigarettes”), or anyone, is pointless. That pointlessness remains constant throughout the record. Existential dread and anxiety abound on “No Big Bang”, perhaps a reflection of Greer’s struggles with writing and the creative process. A steady guitar riff accompanies an increasingly frantic Greer, firing off thoughts seemingly at random. If “No Big Bang” is the lyrical apex of Nothing Feels Natural’s anxiety, then the short, explosive “Puff” is its musical equivalent—angular guitars played by G.L. Jaguar, dissonant bass lines played by Taylor Mulitz, and thrashing drums release tension that’s been building since the first track.

Themes of distance and consumption run through Nothing Feels Natural (“Nicki,” “Leila 20”). Though the lyrics are ambiguous in meaning, listeners get the sense that members of Priests are critical of late capitalism, America’s neoliberal policies, and the perverted sense of patriotism that runs through the country, and anger with a system that keeps people in narrow boxes (“Pink White House”).

“Suck” is a fun funk-inspired dance reminiscent of early Blondie, but doesn’t match the overall mood of the record, leading it to sound out of place. Nonetheless, Nothing Feels Natural is a great debut from an exciting band; arguably among the best debuts of the year

Nothing Feels Natural (2017, Sister Polygon Records)

Priests share the raw brilliance of ‘Early Recordings’ for Record Store Day

Released on LP vinyl (opaque white) limited to 1000 copies. Priests’ “Early Recordings” combines the band’s first two cassette-only tape releases, originally recorded in 2011 and 2013. The small run cassette releases were originally intended to be for purchase only at the band’s live shows. “We didn’t want everybody to hear it,” said drummer Daniele Daniele. “We were still learning our instruments, so these tapes were not intended to impress the world, just document where we were for our own sake.” Daniele met vocalist Katie Alice Greer the same week she arrived in Washington, DC to complete a fellowship at Georgetown University, and the two decided to start a band. Guitarist GL Jaguar joined soon after, and bassist Taylor Mulitz completed the lineup the following year. Tape 1 was recorded by Jaguar in his parent’s basement in Maryland. The band had existed for one week, and the trio had written four songs. “I was very eager to have evidence of the band exist for myself, because I didn’t know how long it would last, and I wanted to make music more than anything, said Greer. “Diet Coke”, the band’s first song, is a hundred second blast of pummeling energy and what would become Jaguar’s signature riffage.

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Priests’ Early Recordings combines the band’s first two cassette-only tape releases, originally recorded in 2011 and 2013. The small run cassette releases were originally intended to be for purchase only at the band’s live shows. “We didn’t want everybody to hear it,” said drummer Daniele Daniele. “We were still learning our instruments, so these tapes were not intended to impress the world, just document where we were for our own sake.” Daniele met vocalist Katie Alice Greer the same week she arrived in Washington, DC to complete a fellowship at Georgetown University, and the two decided to start a band. Guitarist GL Jaguar joined soon after, and bassist Taylor Mulitz completed the lineup the following year.

Tape 1 was recorded by Jaguar in his parent’s basement in Maryland. The band had existed for one week, and the trio had written four songs. “I was very eager to have evidence of the band exist for myself, because I didn’t know how long it would last, and I wanted to make music more than anything,” said Greer. “Diet Coke”, the band’s first song, is a hundred second blast of pummeling energy and what would become Jaguar’s signature riffage. A winking nod to advertising that sneaks into culture, the tune is followed by the more contemplative “Talking”, a song on which both Greer and Jaguar play guitar. Greer’s lyrics speak to US public school systems “rewarding complicity” and children being “being socialized by reality TV”. “The World”, perhaps foreshadowing the band’s krautrock-inspired penchant for repetition, is a jubilant intermission before “Cobra”,  a playfully minimal stop-start closer inspired by cult favorite rock group She (also known as “The Hairem”).

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On Tape Two the band was eager to showcase their fuller sound as a newly expanded quartet. The tape’s seven songs were recorded by Kevin Erickson and Hugh McElroy, who had already recorded the band’s first single “Radiation/Personal Planes” a year earlier and would go on to produced half of Priests’ Bodies and Control and Money and Power EP and all of Nothing Feels Natural. “Leave Me Alone” nods to the Priests’s affinity for inverting the cool funk of a song like Bush Tetras’ “Too Many Creeps” (“I see you when I’m out on the street/ I think you look like a creep”) while exploring more melodic territory on tracks like “Twelve”, hinting to material that would later surface on Nothing Feels Natural. Lyrically, Priests continued to explore themes that center women’s lives (“Lillian Hellman”), critique social perception of female celebrity (“Lana”), interrogate assumptions of US history (“Incantations”), and invert the male gaze on the Daniele Daniele-penned closer “Watch You”. Priests was already interested in expanding their musical palette, as evidenced by metallic clangs and a purring drum machine on “Watch You” and creeping mellotron weaving in and out of a few different tracks throughout.

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Early Recordings lays the groundwork for Priests longer releases in the following three years and provides context for the band’s evolving sound.

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The first album to completely blow me away in 2017 was Priests’ “Nothing Feels Natural” . I’ve been waiting for a new release from Priests! for awile after a couple of EP’s, But I Love this record and what this group is all about The first 3 tracks are simply perfect : so musically subversive, great.

The Washington D.C. punk outfit can give you an accessible hint of balladry on the album’s title track, but come for blood on the Dick Dale-like twang of “Jj.” Singer Katie Alice Greer might as well be standing at the podium when we damn all the bullshit society constructs to hell, with pianos and horns backing her every decree. Much like some of their contemporaries they blend a combination of old Post Punk and newer influences to create a sound that stands out. Priest’s are a powerful and necessary band

Priests – Nothing Feels Natural, bandcamp: https://goo.gl/TN4Vdy

Tracklist:

01. Appropriate 0:00
02. JJ 5:13
03. Nicki 8:13
04. Lelia 20 11:54
05. No Big Bang 15:05
06. – 17:55
07. Nothing Feels Natural 19:11
08. Pink White House 23:11
09. Puff 27:19
10 Stuck 29:11

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The second single from the band’s forthcoming debut, “Nothing Feels Natural”, is an absurdist punk romp through the illusion of choice  magical psychology, deceptive anthropology”—delivered by a band fighting to survive within DC’s cracked crucible of power.

Moving through burnished rumbling to spiny po-going, haunted cynicism, and boiling thrash, “Pink White House” steadily inflates like a runaway , pumped up by Katie Alice Greer’s vocal mania. “Ooh baby, my American dream,” she leers as she sends up the expensive vacations sold as reprieve from the grind of everyday life—and suddenly, “Pink White House” shifts from good-humored rabble-rousing to a darker conclusion. G. L. Jaguar’s guitar seems to drill into the center of the sun; Greer abandons her satire to lambast cogs in the machine “too pitiful to be obscene, too cowardly to be embarrassing.” Priests’ subject is well worn. 

Priests are an American punk band formed in 2012. The members of Priests run Sister Polygon Records.

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Band Members
Katie Alice Greer
Gideon Jaguar
Taylor Mulitz
Daniele Daniele

Among the most blogged new band is this punk band from Washington DC who also run the label Sister Polygon (Downtown Boys, Snail Mail). The title track to their debut LP is “a bracing anthem about the struggle to realize yourself against seemingly irresistible forces”

If any band has understood this in recent years, it’s Priests born and bred in Washington, D.C., operating under the notion that nothing about American systems or society is natural.

Nothing Feels Natural, the band’s first proper album after a couple of tapes, a 7″ single and 2014’s Bodies And Control And Money And Power EP, isn’t a direct response to the state of the nation so much as a state of mind. For Priests, the personal has always been political; the band recognizes that the self is fluid, and that how we interact with each other is just as vital as how we confront the world. That’s why Nothing Feels Natural, in 10 tracks that embody the spirit of punk — while fully embracing the R&B, pop and experimental layers that course through the band’s discography presents itself as a broken and abstract view of what it means to live in a broken and abstract society.

The album represents a step forward for Priests. It’s the band’s most stylistically diverse work, expanding on their lo-fi post-punk bona-fides with ideas drawn from pop, R&B, and industrial noise. Thematically, Nothing can be understood as a series of vignettes — nine stories that crystallize into a bigger picture about the economics of human relationships, the invisibility of feminized labor, and the theoretical dual purpose of art for the group and the individual. The album will be the first full-length LP released on Sister Polygon Records, the label that the band operates cooperatively.

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But Nothing Feels Natural moves beyond the trappings of an album that speaks to a specific time: It wants to keep speaking with us.

band members, Daniele Daniele drums, Katie Alice Greer vocals, G.L. Jaguar guitar, Taylor Mulitz bass