Posts by Jenzia Burgos

gobbinjr Named Her Album After a Hat, But It’ll Still Make You Cry

gobbinjr Named Her Album After a Hat, But It’ll Still Make You Cry Photography by Sonya Belakhlef

gobbinjr—aka, Emma Witmer—tries to find the humor in everything. Her cheery voice floats over jangly bedpop melodies, chirping out Lynchian lyrics about everything from heartache to misogyny.

The Brooklyn-based musician’s latest album, ocala wick, is mostly a world of whimsy: On opener ‘afraid of me,’ she coos, “I’m going to work high / I’m smoking at work…Hi, nice to meet you,” as starship synths rocket underway. Yet Witmer allows darkness to glisten here, too—tracks like ‘joaquin’ and ‘sorry charlie’ feature her airy soprano dipping into a somber register as she tackles anxious thoughts and the weight of loss. Three years after her playful debut, manalang, gobbinjr is leaning into these intimate moments.

AdHoc connected with Emma ahead of tonight’s June 15 record release show at Baby’s All Right to talk about this newfound vulnerability, sexism in the music industry, and the power of honesty on social media.

Be sure to grab a copy of ocala wick, out now via Topshelf Records.

AdHoc: A lot of publications have referred to your music as “childlike,” or “girlish.” That’s always rubbed me the wrong way; it infantilizes you and your work. You recently took to Twitter yourself calling this problem out. Are there any other ways that you feel you’ve been reduced or poorly understood as an artist?

Emma Witmer: I think the child thing is definitely just my main issue right now. I’ve worked really hard to not be sexualized, and the child thing is the other end of that coin, you know? You’re either sexy or you’re childish if you’re a woman. And I think now, some people just don’t want to approach me because I will speak out on Twitter.

The “childlike” thing is also bizarre since your music consistently addresses adult themes, like heartbreak and misogyny. Are those things that you purposefully set out to address on your new album?

Yeah, it was just what I was dealing with these past few years, and [when] taking time to make the album, I realized that half of it was about all of this stuff— being mistreated by men, not being viewed correctly, not being respected. It wasn’t intentional, but it’s obviously on my mind a lot. It’s tough being a woman in music. Which sucks—I don’t really want to have to say that about myself: “A woman in music.” I just want to be a musician. 

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This Video by Sixteen Jackies Will Feed Your Crazy

This Video by Sixteen Jackies Will Feed Your Crazy Photography by Carmella Martonick

A spirit of lust slinks in and out of Sixteen Jackies’ sound. The Philadelphia-based quartet is headed by Jody DeMarco, whose breathy wails seduce and plead over art-rock rhythms. On their latest release, Mascula, surfing guitar melodies pair with psychedelic basslines in a tempest world of dreamlike dimensions. Released this May by Born Losers Records, Mascula follows the band’s 2017 EP, Movie Was Bad. This new record features “Power,” a song where Sixteen Jackies’ fantasy and passion reach haunting new heights. 
 
“I wrote it when I was 20 and first felt the sting of being turned down by another gay guy who thought I was too feminine for him,” DeMarco told AdHoc via email. “Power” sees DeMarco wrestling with the complexities of these queer longings: “I used the song as an outlet for those dark feelings I had, but I exaggerated them to absurdity, basically writing myself as the villain of some sort of occult erotic thriller,” he wrote.
 
In the video for the track, which we’re debuting below, we see DeMarco perform these tensions; unrequited attention breeds a certain frenzy, left to fester under the view of a Super-8 lens. Director Bob Sweeney focuses on macabre found objects: a devil’s mask in a blonde wig, a bone nailed to a wall — hazy cabalistic glimpses that foreshadow Jody's lovelorn descent.
 
Listen and watch the rousing track here, and be sure to catch Sixteen Jackies when they play Sunnyvale in Brooklyn on June 7.