New Orleans band Particular Curiosity on the dance-punk report ‘Endure’ : NPR


The frenzied ‘Endure’ captures the vertigo of dwelling on the finish of the world

Endure, the third album from New Orleans band Particular Curiosity out Nov. 4, is an album marked by juxtaposition and contrasts.

Alexis Gross

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Alexis Gross

Endure, the third album from New Orleans band Particular Curiosity out Nov. 4, is an album marked by juxtaposition and contrasts.

Alexis Gross

“The top of the world is only a vacation spot.” Particular Curiosity, the dance-punk band from New Orleans, repeats that line on the finish of its new album, a report that illustrates the resistance and escapism needed in a society hurtling towards its breaking level. An invigorating sonic playground of discordant guitar squalls, disco basslines and thumping beats pushes the listener into sweaty nightclubs, rat-infested residences and burning warzones; the band observe brutal capitalist circumstances, cruelty and oppression, and the pressing freedoms and pleasures that we search inside them. The report is titled one encapsulating phrase: Endure.

“There’s a lot to endure, and extra endurance is to return,” explains vocalist Alli Logout. “However I feel that is additionally why I just like the phrase. Once I consider it, I hear future inside it. We will maintain all these actually intense and painful issues, however there may be additionally this future that we’re all pushing in direction of.”

The band — Logout, guitarist Maria Elena, synth and drum programmer Ruth Mascelli and bassist Nathan Cassiani — shaped in 2015; its earlier albums, 2018’s Spiraling and 2020’s The Ardour Of, function claustrophobic, politically incensed no-wave experiments with abrasiveness and noise. Collectively, the band members come from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas, and their early gateways to music embrace Nirvana (Cassiani), 9 Inch Nails (Mascelli), Erykah Badu (Logout) and David Bowie (Elena). The range of those backgrounds feeds a shrugged-shoulders method to claiming a style and sound. “We had been simply f****** round,” says Logout of the band’s beginnings, “and we have now continued f****** round to at the present time.”

Work on Endure started in summer season 2020; the band was lucky to have a apply area massive sufficient for bodily distancing, and writing classes turned one of many few sources of any social contact for the 4 members. As a pure response to the unusual inventive circumstances, the music that resulted treads thrilling new floor. As an alternative of utilizing drum machines and electronics to create chaos as they’d beforehand, they had been utilizing them to craft danceable, usually playful tunes.

“I used to be inquisitive about our sound growing — I did not wanna make the identical report once more — and I’ve at all times been inquisitive about pop manufacturing and the best way issues are layered,” explains Cassiani. “Largely, the best way I interact with music in a stay setting goes to golf equipment, and I actually missed that through the pandemic, like lots of people did. So once we had been writing, attempting to expertise that feeling ultimately was necessary for me.”

Additionally new was that the band could not use the sounding board of a stay viewers to assist outline the form and really feel of songs. As an alternative, there was a sense of mutation and thriller through the course of. “It was terrifying to not take a look at any of the songs [live], ‘trigger it obtained bizarre fairly fast. However then it simply obtained unfastened, [and] it stored exhibiting itself,” says Elena.

“Lots of songs took actually completely different turns than I assumed they might,” Mascelli provides. “I really feel like we comply with them the place they take us, so it is sudden.” The epic closing monitor “LA Blues,” on which Logout delivers an intense, multifaceted vocal efficiency throughout eight minutes, was one instance of a music that was thrillingly unpredictable, in accordance with Mascelli. “Once I heard the vocals for the primary time I used to be fully blown away. We had been taking part in it as this lengthy instrumental dirge for months, and I had no concept it was gonna go that onerous.”

Lyrically, Endure is unflinching in its evaluation of an inhumane society. “Foul” exposes the bodily and psychological degradation of working below capitalism — again ache, sleep deprivation, UTIs — through nervy, frenzied punk. The droning, dread-infused “Kurdish Radio” connects the dots between imperialism and home white supremacy. “Regarding Peace” is a manifesto for violent resistance: “Violence in its complexity is the one software towards indignity.” But it is not all darkish; groovy lead single “(Herman’s) Home” is an ode to hope and liberation through the story of the late Black activist Herman Wallace, on which Logout guarantees, “Will not lose myself on this world that wishes my finish.” And tracks just like the ecstatic “Cherry Blue Intention” and the sensual “Midnight Legend” discover visceral, private sources of pleasure too — dancing, intercourse, group.

“These are the 2 issues that we’re all holding without delay — [one is] our personal expertise and private development, and the opposite is all of the issues you possibly can’t change which are happening outdoors of you.” says Logout. “Pleasure is that this fairly fleeting emotion, however there may be a lot pleasure in actually simply the little issues. If we do not have that or do not discover it, then what do we have now? A life with out pleasure is a life that is not price dwelling, for my part.”

Anger, and understanding tips on how to wield it, is a vital software in Particular Curiosity’s arsenal too, Logout goes on to elucidate. “When pondering of songs like ‘Regarding Peace,’ I used to be attempting to call all of the injustice that I really feel like wanted to be named, and the deeply maddening impact of this respectability politics state of affairs right here in America with Blackness,” they are saying. “I’m watching every day the devastating results of anti-Blackness inside this nation — it is unreal and it is otherworldly.”

There’s deeply palpable anger as properly on tracks like “Foul,” the place it is directed at a system that calls for a employee’s complete life and spirit, and “Impulse Management,” the place Logout spits rage towards “nepotistic dumb f****.” “I feel anger has been actually helpful in my life in a variety of methods to maneuver by means of issues in a approach that I do not assume I might have as soon as upon a time,” Logout says. “I’ve additionally discovered that dwelling an excessive amount of in anger for me has been damaging. However I feel I simply know now tips on how to expertise that in a approach that’s extra helpful.”

“Music is sort of a spell,” they add. “It has the ability to push you to call all of the belongings you really feel like typically you possibly can’t say, and be capable of sit with them and really feel them, and in addition to maneuver you ahead.”

It is robust to not really feel moved by Endure, within the figurative and literal sense of the phrase. “It is one thing in your thoughts and one thing in your physique,” opines Mascelli. “We’re attempting to make one thing that strikes us bodily on a stage past having to place it into phrases. And I feel it makes the message extra impactful, when it connects to you on that stage the place you possibly can really feel the beat.”

That musical dynamism and fluidity additionally retains issues enjoyable whereas performing, which is essential throughout a set that may undoubtedly turn out to be heavy in subject material. “Some songs, I really feel a little bit bit an excessive amount of typically, and it may well ship me there in an disagreeable approach,” says Logout. “I really feel like over time I’ve realized tips on how to separate that, but in addition be capable of channel it after I want it.” All 4 band members ease that burden by means of their private friendship, too; excursions are punctuated by clubbing excursions and karaoke nights, for instance.

Endure is an album marked by juxtaposition and contrasts. It presents the circumstances we should endure, and the instruments we have now with which to take action; the ache and craving of feeling overwhelmed down, and a resolve to battle again. It places phrases and music to a private set of challenges, but with an encouraging assertion of communality. And all of the whereas, it offers a number of sounds that alternately energize, problem and soothe, to create a map for determining tips on how to endure collectively.

“It is type of such as you’re strolling down the road and there is music taking part in from a retailer on one aspect, after which there is a automotive accident over right here, and folks laughing up forward,” Mascelli says. “All these things is happening all of sudden, [and we’re] attempting to seize the sensation of vertigo between all of it.”


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