Drab City announce tour

Following excellent reviews for Good Songs For Bad People, their recently-released debut album on Bella Union, Drab City have announced news of a headline UK tour in March next year, including a performance at the Lexington in London. 

“The new king and queen of fever-dream-pop.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Mixing savage lyrics with a haunting, cinematic sound, this enigmatic duo deliver potent songs for surreal times.” The Observer (One to Watch)

“Disorienting but compelling… To maintain as distinctive an aura as this album manages requires a diverse tapestry of musical ingredients and Drab City deliver in that regard… Listening to Good Songs for Bad People, you do believe you have visited a new city, but it is anything but drab.” Loud & Quiet – 8/10

“Intoxicating and otherworldly.” DIY

“experimental, electronic, noir-ish aesthetics… Most crucial is a penchant for 60s chanson’s soft-focus harmonies, evident on the Air-like ‘Working For The Men.’” Uncut – 7/10

“It’s woozy, dubby, funky and majorly chilled out – think Wu Tang Clan, those weird, cool David Axelrod albums, Portishead –with Islamiq Grrrls’ cooing vocals pulling things into Françoise Hardy / girl group territory.” Brooklyn Vegan

“Turn down the lights, stick your headphones on, and melt into Drab City’s ethereal debut. Good Songs For Bad People oozes with Portishead-like production – combining gothic elements with smooth jazz and dark synths to create a truly haunting record that removes you from reality.” The Rodeo – 4 Stars ****

Drab City embody a revolutionary ideal of the role art is supposed to play. Literally, their music represents the revolt of the human spirit against a number of outside elements that conspire to constrain and injure that spirit.” Paste Magazine

“Dreamy, melodic pop that bounces over suspenseful, melancholy instrumentation and antisocial anthems.” Blunt Magazine

“Their glitchy songs of violence and paranoia radiate a deranged elegance that’s both succinct and off-kilter… Positions them as heirs to the sonic lift-off Broadcast’s laser-guided radiophonics and the spectral breakbeats of Portishead’s torch song future blues.” Pop Matters

It is the gift of escapism. Like a David Lynch film, or a Kafka novel, you’re transported into a world without a guide, and it is utterly exhilarating.” Secret Meeting – 8.3/10

Happy Release Day Drab City

Happy release day to Drab City, who release their intoxicating debut album ‘Good Songs For Bad People’ today on Bella Union. Let them draw you in to the woozy, heady world they’ve created.

A heady air of dislocation envelops Drab City’s debut album, where songs of innocence and experience merge with dub, hip-hop, dream-pop and jazzy soundtrack vibes to intoxicating effect. Drab City are fixated on social alienation, violent revenge, and (perhaps) romantic love as salvation; topics not new in music, but listening to Drab City in 2020, one is struck by how uncommon they’ve become. Lyrically, these songs often project punkish angst and resentment. “Working For the Men” is a degraded service worker’s revenge ballad, imagining male tormenters brought to a violent end. “Hand On My Pocket” tells of a destitute, wandering youth. One night she meets a stranger on a desert road, and is told of a nearby city where a soft, rich citizenry make easy targets. Class war is palpable. Other songs are more opaque, but seem to speak of being the black sheep of the family, or being weighed down by the dullness of hometown life. Yet the casual listener might not notice the violence as the music itself is far from abrasive. Dreamy and ethereal, a foundation of flute, vibraphone, and jazzy guitar chord melody can switch to drum machines or funk-inflected girl-group pop at a moment’s notice. It’s a flurry of 20th century references, combining and recombining at such a schizophrenic pace, the overall effect is something that could only be conjured in our frenzied present. At once catchy and unfamiliar, the melodic, welcoming soundscapes are a Trojan horse for the band’s antisocial outlook.

One night fated to be slept

on the streets of Drab City

turns out lasts entire generations

We both drop dead

hungry each night

under foreign stars

Hair matted and mashed into the sidewalk glue

grime, spit, snot, olive pits, ashes, spoiled cream

We sleep huddled in the thinnest linens and dream

startlingly beautiful stuff

like ships with eight sails

and fifty canons mooring at the quay

or even just Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

When the landlord pays a visit he arrives

cheerful and singing in a flute like voice

an underdeveloped, simple and predictable tune

He wears boots like Robin Leach

And at the back of the skull

Wakes us with a kick

Then we’re off and away digging

other people’s ditches all day

We’re staring out the big window

in this Turkish bakery

on the dirty boulevard

after sunset

blank, silent

and sucking the last of the grounds

Probably everyone around here wants us to die

Our feelings are unfashionable

Creative little groups of artists and influencers pass

carrying uniquely scented wallets

Everybody’s got nice stuff but me

I want a stereo I want a TV

Well I guess that’s everything

Avoid the authorities, live free, then die when it’s cool

Sincerely,

Drab City

Drab City share ‘Live Free & Die When It’s Cool’ visuals

With the much-anticipated debut album Good Songs For Bad People due for release this Friday, and recently described by MOJO as “The new king and queen of fever-dream-pop”, Drab City have today shared a video for current single “Live Free and Die When It’s Cool”. Of the track the band say: “Live Free and Die When It’s Cool tells the story of a young, penniless drifter who arrives in the big city searching for understanding and like-minded weirdos, only to find the wide open city has been replaced by a hyper-gentrified city of dull careerists.” The tale is told over an uncanny mix of echoey dub, 70s rock, and funky drum breaks – a sonic blend as free spirited and cool as the song’s title suggests. The video was filmed around 5am and features the band dancing around abandoned beaches and forests.

A heady air of dislocation envelops Drab City’s debut album, where songs of innocence and experience merge with dub, hip-hop, dream-pop and jazzy soundtrack vibes to intoxicating effect. Drab City are fixated on social alienation, violent revenge, and (perhaps) romantic love as salvation; topics not new in music, but listening to Drab City in 2020, one is struck by how uncommon they’ve become. Lyrically, these songs often project punkish angst and resentment. “Working For the Men” is a degraded service worker’s revenge ballad, imagining male tormenters brought to a violent end. “Hand On My Pocket” tells of a destitute, wandering youth. One night she meets a stranger on a desert road, and is told of a nearby city where a soft, rich citizenry make easy targets. Class war is palpable. Other songs are more opaque, but seem to speak of being the black sheep of the family, or being weighed down by the dullness of hometown life. Yet the casual listener might not notice the violence as the music itself is far from abrasive. Dreamy and ethereal, a foundation of flute, vibraphone, and jazzy guitar chord melody can switch to drum machines or funk-inflected girl-group pop at a moment’s notice. It’s a flurry of 20th century references, combining and recombining at such a schizophrenic pace, the overall effect is something that could only be conjured in our frenzied present. At once catchy and unfamiliar, the melodic, welcoming soundscapes are a Trojan horse for the band’s antisocial outlook.

One night fated to be slept

on the streets of Drab City

turns out lasts entire generations

We both drop dead

hungry each night

under foreign stars

Hair matted and mashed into the sidewalk glue

grime, spit, snot, olive pits, ashes, spoiled cream

We sleep huddled in the thinnest linens and dream

startlingly beautiful stuff

like ships with eight sails

and fifty canons mooring at the quay

or even just Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

When the landlord pays a visit he arrives

cheerful and singing in a flute like voice

an underdeveloped, simple and predictable tune

He wears boots like Robin Leach

And at the back of the skull

Wakes us with a kick

Then we’re off and away digging

other people’s ditches all day

We’re staring out the big window

in thisTurkish bakery

on the dirty boulevard

after sunset

blank, silent

and sucking the last of the grounds

Probably everyone around here wants us to die

Our feelings are unfashionable

Creative little groups of artists and influencers pass

carrying uniquely scented wallets

Everybody’s got nice stuff but me

I want a stereo I want a TV

Well I guess that’s everything

Avoid the authorities, live free, then die when it’s cool

Sincerely,

Drab City

Drab City share ‘Live Free and Die When It’s Cool’

Recently described by MOJO magazine as “The new king and queen of fever-dream-pop”, and with the release of their much-anticipated debut album Good Songs For Bad People just over a fortnight away on 12th June, Drab City have today shared a new track, “Live Free and Die When It’s Cool”. A feral youth arrives in rags to the city of gold where he watches soft, fashionably dressed people discuss art over locally sourced meals and reflects on his traumatic past. Musically, the track welds dub, 70s rock, and hip hop drum breaks to a third hand AMPEX tape deck found in a dump on the city outskirts.

A heady air of dislocation envelops Drab City’s debut album, where songs of innocence and experience merge with dub, hip-hop, dream-pop and jazzy soundtrack vibes to intoxicating effect. Drab City are fixated on social alienation, violent revenge, and (perhaps) romantic love as salvation; topics not new in music, but listening to Drab City in 2020, one is struck by how uncommon they’ve become. Lyrically, these songs often project punkish angst and resentment. “Working For the Men” is a degraded service worker’s revenge ballad, imagining male tormenters brought to a violent end. “Hand On My Pocket” tells of a destitute, wandering youth. One night she meets a stranger on a desert road, and is told of a nearby city where a soft, rich citizenry make easy targets. Class war is palpable. Other songs are more opaque, but seem to speak of being the black sheep of the family, or being weighed down by the dullness of hometown life. Yet the casual listener might not notice the violence as the music itself is far from abrasive. Dreamy and ethereal, a foundation of flute, vibraphone, and jazzy guitar chord melody can switch to drum machines or funk-inflected girl-group pop at a moment’s notice. It’s a flurry of 20th century references, combining and recombining at such a schizophrenic pace, the overall effect is something that could only be conjured in our frenzied present. At once catchy and unfamiliar, the melodic, welcoming soundscapes are a Trojan horse for the band’s antisocial outlook.

One night fated to be slept

on the streets of Drab City

turns out lasts entire generations

We both drop dead

hungry each night

under foreign stars

Hair matted and mashed into the sidewalk glue

grime, spit, snot, olive pits, ashes, spoiled cream

We sleep huddled in the thinnest linens and dream

startlingly beautiful stuff

like ships with eight sails

and fifty canons mooring at the quay

or even just Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

When the landlord pays a visit he arrives

cheerful and singing in a flute like voice

an underdeveloped, simple and predictable tune

He wears boots like Robin Leach

And at the back of the skull

Wakes us with a kick

Then we’re off and away digging

other people’s ditches all day

We’re staring out the big window

in thisTurkish bakery

on the dirty boulevard

after sunset

blank, silent

and sucking the last of the grounds

Probably everyone around here wants us to die

Our feelings are unfashionable

Creative little groups of artists and influencers pass

carrying uniquely scented wallets

Everybody’s got nice stuff but me

I want a stereo I want a TV

Well I guess that’s everything

Avoid the authorities, live free, then die when it’s cool

Sincerely,

Drab City

Drab City premiere ‘Troubled Girl’

With their much-anticipated debut album Good Songs For Bad People due for release 12th June via Bella Union, and having previously shared videos for ‘Working For The Men’ and ‘Devil Doll’, today Drab City share a playful video for new track “Troubled Girl”. Sounding a little like the Shangri-Las, perhaps, but only after being sampled by RZA and overlaid with a crushing drum break and the band’s otherworldly embellishments, “Troubled Girl” tells the story of a misunderstood and belittled teen girl’s angst and her dreams of escape. A remarkably fresh take on a classic pop song trope that sounds at once familiar and like nothing else.

A heady air of dislocation envelops Drab City’s debut album, where songs of innocence and experience merge with dub, hip-hop, dream-pop and jazzy soundtrack vibes to intoxicating effect. Drab City are fixated on social alienation, violent revenge, and (perhaps) romantic love as salvation; topics not new in music, but listening to Drab City in 2020, one is struck by how uncommon they’ve become. Lyrically, these songs often project punkish angst and resentment. “Working For the Men” is a degraded service worker’s revenge ballad, imagining male tormenters brought to a violent end. “Hand On My Pocket” tells of a destitute, wandering youth. One night she meets a stranger on a desert road, and is told of a nearby city where a soft, rich citizenry make easy targets. Class war is palpable. Other songs are more opaque, but seem to speak of being the black sheep of the family, or being weighed down by the dullness of hometown life. Yet the casual listener might not notice the violence as the music itself is far from abrasive. Dreamy and ethereal, a foundation of flute, vibraphone, and jazzy guitar chord melody can switch to drum machines or funk-inflected girl-group pop at a moment’s notice. It’s a flurry of 20th century references, combining and recombining at such a schizophrenic pace, the overall effect is something that could only be conjured in our frenzied present. At once catchy and unfamiliar, the melodic, welcoming soundscapes are a Trojan horse for the band’s antisocial outlook.

Drab City share ‘Devil Doll’

Having last month announced their debut album Good Songs For Bad People, released 12th June via Bella Union, and shared a video for ‘Working For The Men’, today Drab City share a new track, ‘Devil Doll’, from the album. ‘Devil Doll’ is a slow-burning tune of smooth melancholy. A beautiful, airy vocal melody is supported by descending vibraphone chords and a solid bass line, ornamented with strings and flutes. Though a conventionally catchy and pretty song, everything feels slightly off-kilter, giving it a mildly uneasy quality. The gentle, melodic vocal is actually not, one realises, delivering a tale of love or romance, but a tale a disappointment, betrayal, and small town hopelessness.

A heady air of dislocation envelops Drab City’s debut album, where songs of innocence and experience merge with dub, hip-hop, dream-pop and jazzy soundtrack vibes to intoxicating effect. Drab City are fixated on social alienation, violent revenge, and (perhaps) romantic love as salvation; topics not new in music, but listening to Drab City in 2020, one is struck by how uncommon they’ve become. Lyrically, these songs often project punkish angst and resentment. “Working For the Men” is a degraded service worker’s revenge ballad, imagining male tormenters brought to a violent end. “Hand On My Pocket” tells of a destitute, wandering youth. One night she meets a stranger on a desert road, and is told of a nearby city where a soft, rich citizenry make easy targets. Class war is palpable. Other songs are more opaque, but seem to speak of being the black sheep of the family, or being weighed down by the dullness of hometown life. Yet the casual listener might not notice the violence as the music itself is far from abrasive. Dreamy and ethereal, a foundation of flute, vibraphone, and jazzy guitar chord melody can switch to drum machines or funk-inflected girl-group pop at a moment’s notice. It’s a flurry of 20th century references, combining and recombining at such a schizophrenic pace, the overall effect is something that could only be conjured in our frenzied present. At once catchy and unfamiliar, the melodic, welcoming soundscapes are a Trojan horse for the band’s antisocial outlook.