Track Of The Day: Painted Zeros – ‘Commuter Rage’

“I don’t owe you anything” Painted Zeros‘ Katie Lau firmly states on her latest single ‘Commuter Rage’, a song that tackles the natural resentment towards those who invade your personal space. The Brooklyn-based musician & sound engineer blends elements of shoegaze and indie music with her cool vocals to set the record straight.

Lifted from her second album When You Found Forever, set for release on 29th May via Don Giovanni Records, ‘Commuter Rage’ is the sound of an artist who has had enough of making space for everyone else, and is ready to take it back for herself. “Go read a fucking book / don’t you fucking look at me / to teach you things that you are responsible for learning on your own” Lau sings, with quiet and relatable anger, over a deceptively sweet melody.

Lau is the focus of the visuals that accompany the single, directed by Jess Coles. She explains why she enjoyed working with Coles so much, and how the context of the video is linked to her growth as a musician: “I was excited to work with director Jess Coles for multiple reasons: we are both queer women, and her style of film-making mirrors the way I make music. I write, perform, record, and mix everything myself, and Jess directs, shoots, produces, and edits all of her own work.”

“While discussing video ideas over coffee, I mentioned that I felt like I had been hiding myself in the past;  hiding from taking ownership of Painted Zeros as my solo project, hiding my voice in my last album by burying it in my mixes, and that I didn’t want to hide or allow my art to be dictated by fear anymore. Jess suggested a music video that focused mostly on my face, with me and the sky as characters…I have to confess that a music video where my face is the unflinching focus was not the most comfortable idea for me to wrap my head around, but after working with Jess and seeing the outcome, I’m glad I did.”

“The chorus of ‘Commuter Rage (“I don’t owe you anything”) has become something of a personal mantra, a note-to-self when dealing with people who feel entitled to my time and energy. I wanted to write something that combined the feeling of being pissed off about injustice with a tongue-in-cheek (“be your benevolent overlord”) and ultimately joyous reclamation of my space/emotional boundaries.”

We’ve got all the time in the world for Painted Zeros’ music, and fully support her messages of self-autonomy and overcoming personal fears. Watch the video for ‘Commuter Rage’ below, and follow Painted Zeros on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Ex-Vöid – ‘Boyfriend’

Star-signs realign for ex-members of Joanna Gruesome McArdle & Williams, as they embark on their new venture under the banner of Ex-Vöid. They’ve shared their first single ‘Boyfriend’, which is a mesh of melodic angst and guitar, explicitly asserting single autonomy.

Following the split of the JG, McArdle (a Gemini) began selling occult & astrological speculations to various lifestyle magazines, while Williams (an Aquarius) earned money playing electric guitar in the “notoriously pathetic” punk-rock group The Snivellers.

After a chance meeting at a contemporary dance class, McArdle and Williams began to discuss working together again. Laurie Foster (a Cancer) and Kester Davies (a Pisces) were recruited as a ‘rhythm section’ and Jonny Coddington (a Leo) later joined on guitar.

Ex-Vöid have managed to quickly organise a three track record (largely due to Mercury shifting into retrograde), which they’ve released through Don Giovanni Records as a digital/cassette single. Listen to ‘Boyfriend’ below, and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jender Anomie

Kate Crudgington

ALBUM: Screaming Females – ‘All At Once’

Screaming Females have been touring and producing records for just shy of a decade, and they’ve managed to keep both their energy and integrity with the release of seventh studio album, All At Once  – which is something worth writing about.

Released via Don Giovanni Records earlier this month, and produced by long-time collaborator Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon, Murder City Devils), Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vox), Mike Abbate (bass), and Jarrett Dougherty (drums) spent a month recording in Seattle, splitting their time between London Bridge Studio and Red Room – and the result is a relentless fourteen track record.

Powerful opener ‘Glass House’ is fueled by filthy bass lines and sturdy vocals from Paternoster. Despite sounding like a break-up song, following track ‘Black Moon’ is actually about “the planet abandoning humanity” – but it doesn’t seem as bleak as that, thanks to the riotous guitar and knockout percussion.

‘I’ll Make You Sorry’ is no idle threat, even if Paternoster asks “am I losing faith in my own anger?”. ‘Dirt’ kicks up the musical dust again, before ‘Agnes Martin’ busts wide open with “emblems built of garbage” and devious riffs. ‘Deeply’ is a passionate two minutes of slow-building, burning vocals, whilst ‘Soft Domination’ is equally as heated.

Despite originally being conceived as a minimalist drum machine-driven demo, ‘End Of My Bloodline’ feels fleshy enough, and bookend tracks ‘Chamber For Sleep (Part One)’ and ‘Chamber For Sleep (Part Two)’ ponder a similarly morbid subject: the afterlife. “It’s sort of about sitting around, fantasizing about your own funeral and kind of wishing you could be there to see what it would be like” says Paternoster. “I would consider that a very universal human experience. Or maybe I’m crazy. I have no idea” says Paternoster.

Crazy or not, ‘Bird In Space’ soars like “a bird in paradise” with its rich guitar sounds, and contrasts well with the jarring opening on following ‘Fantasy Lens’. ‘My Body’, ‘Drop By Drop’ and ‘Step Outside’ sound minimal, but they’re all loud lessons in self-restraint; something Paternoster said she was “conscious” of whilst writing this album – wary of adding too many layers to each song.

Screaming Females seventh offering is another lively, consistent, riotous affair that should be played loud, and All At Once for full effect. It’s sure to please fans who have stayed loyal to the band along the way, and to grasp the attention of new ears too.

You can order your copy of All At Once here. Follow Screaming Females on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Farrah Skeiky

Kate Crudgington