On “Thinning,” Snail Mail’s singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan, reckons with a gale-force low with a disarming directness. Her vocals, delivered carefully and veiled by reverb, hesitate between a desire to surrender to or push herself out of the haze of feeling unlike herself. The track, a highlight from last summer’s Habit, has received a video, directed and shot by the band’s drummer Shawn Durham. The video features Jordan performing the song in different locations around her native Baltimore and Maryland. The shots fixate on inbetweenness. You can watch dawn and dusk unfold into day and night throughout the video. It feels like a psychogeography—with the video’s cemeteries, parking lots, ponds and fields serving as a map and index for the song’s sense of stuckness. In one striking moment, Jordan stands silent in a dark field while behind her people play frisbee—a burst of life proceeding indifferently to the struggle Jordan has documented in song.
This article originally appeared in AdHoc Issue 17. Download a PDF of the zine at this link, and look out for physical copies both at our shows and at record stores, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers throughout the city. (Those of you outside New York City can order a copy here as well.)
Hi! My name is Stef Chura. I live in Detroit and play in a group under my own name. I was in NYC recently for a New York minute (heh... I couldn't help myself), and I got to sit down and talk with Priests, with whom we’re going on tour in February. They’re a punk band from D.C. who have been self-releasing on their own label, Sister Polygon, since 2012. Talking to the group’s four members—vocalist Katie Alice Greer, drummer Daniele Daniele, guitarist G. L. Jaguar, and bassist Taylor Mulitz—for AdHoc, I learned a little more about the ins and outs of their label and what is was like for them to record their first full-length album, Nothing Feels Natural. They also shed some light on life in D.C. during “Pizzagate” and the armed invasion of beloved local venue Comet Ping Pong, where Taylor and Daniele work.
Stef Chura: When did you guys start Sister Polygon Records?
Katie Alice Greer: We started Sister Polygon to put out the first Priests seven-inch, in 2012. We wanted to own the means of production for putting out our music as much as we could. We all bond over music together, so the idea was to also put other stuff we really love out in the world.
Did Sister Polygon immediately grow into this bigger thing?
Daniele Daniele: It’s grown in spurts. First, it was just our stuff, then Downtown Boys, Shady Hawkins... And then around the time Pinkwash’s Your Cure Your Soil came out, in 2014, we were like, “We’re gonna be a label that does lots of stuff.” So we figured out how to distribute music, do press for releases, and things like that.
Katie: Before we would be like, “We made a cassette!”
Taylor Mulitz: “Go team!”
Daniele: We had 300 cassettes in our closet, and we were like, “We’re a record label!”
Philly band Pinkwash just released their new 7”, Cancer Money, following their debut EP Your Cure Your Soil. Actually, despite being based there, “Philly” can be a little misleading. Both Joey Doubek and Ashley Arnwine have serious roots in the DC music scene: they played together in the much-beloved Ingrid before Joey went on to play in Hume and Ashley went on to play in Des Ark among others. The 7” is also being put out on Sister Polygon Records, the label run by DC punks Priests.
So, for those familiar with their history, they will affectionately refer to the guitar-and-drum duo’s bitter singe as “Ingrid 2.0,” though the mood and pacing seems to wear its eyelids a little lower. The A-side and title track comes off as one prolonged burst, screaming for catharsis but having to push past the point of a hoarse throat. The B-side, “Skin,” opens with a enigmatic collage of mutated organ noise before dropping into burnt-out heaviness that recalls a sludgier, stoned-not-spastic Ruins. You can stream the 7” below via their Bandcamp.
Cancer Money is out now on Sister Polygon Records. Pinkwash also have a full-length forthcoming on Don Giovanni Records.
D.C.-based post-punk outfit Priests unleash a paranoid outburst against impending mind control with "Radiation". A nervous guitar quivers while a blunt tom thuds behind Katie Alice Greer's riotous yell, slowly ramping up in speed and severity as endless, expendable media infiltrate the character's comfort zone further. Recommended listening while deactivating your Facebook, smashing your T.V., fortifying your nuclear bomb shelter, or hurling a brick at your least favorite Wal-Mart.
The Radiation / Personal Planes 7" is out now and available digitally on their bandcamp and physically from the band during their winter tour that shares several shows with Parquet Courts. You can see tour dates after the jump.