Things We Like: Drab Majesty, “The Demonstration”


Dreamy and introspective. That’s the easy answer. Some might say “dark”. Perhaps a bit. But that’s an overly simplistic and, frankly, cynical take. It could be said Drab Majesty conjures up a 4AD aura about things with hints of vintage Clan of Xymox or Cocteau Twins in both sound and style. Really, though, there are many influences – dream pop, shoegaze and classic goth among them – that tease their way into the songs. But Deb DeMure, the androgynous alter-ego of L.A.-based musician Andrew Clinco, comes calling with more than just a checklist of references.

On their second proper album, The Demonstration, Drab Majesty transcends the confines of strict style and the niche tastes of a precious few and push out into the realm of 80’s new wave and pop. The songs are catchy and irresistible and satisfyingly accessible while managing to still shimmer and haunt and hover in the corner – a perfect mix of light and dark that invites obsessive listening. Many of these songs wouldn’t seem out of place on mainstream radio of the era. The grand, euphoric “Cold Souls” comes to mind as does “39 By Design”, their languid meditation on the Heaven’s Gate cult – both tracks aptly released in advance of the album like incantations masking as pop singles.

And while there’s a lot to love about The Demonstration, DeMure’s guitar playing could be the true star. Her chiming guitar lines are captivating as they meander around and hang in the air. They lure you in, slow things down and let the white space between notes wrap you in a woozy, warm embrace. “Not Just a Name” and “Forget Tomorrow” conjure up this atmosphere perfectly, the latter playing up the 80’s-era drum machines to near-absurd levels of intensity.

But grandiose gestures are what Drab Majesty is all about. Their image and influences spill out super-saturated, dime-store drama in a kaleidoscope of colors, textures and references. They present an exquisite corpse tangled with so many conflicting cultural touch points – religious pageantry, the occult, KISS Army, Warhol wigs, science fiction, Geisha girl, Members Only – that it’s hard not to fall under their spell (or perhaps surrender to the sheer weight of their presentation) and just follow along. But it all works. Style and sound are a perfect match – light and dark, sweet and sour, high and low – that keeps you off balance and craving more.

After letting this one brood on the turntable for the better part of a month (on glorious marbled blue vinyl and on constant repeat), The Demonstration presents a complete, confident and fully realized vision. Also, the album’s production – care of Telaphon Tel Aviv’s Joshua Eustis – is cleaner and less claustrophobic than its predecessor, Careless (itself a clear statement of purpose with its fair share of great songs).

But The Demonstration is the complete package. It’s that same complex and compelling vision but pushed through with focus and clarity, delivering great songs with production to match.


Prints: Monoprint #25, 2017


Four colors on white and two years in the making. Perfect pop.


Winter Tunes: Project Pitchfork, “Terra Incognita”


Fresh air, twinkling white lights on snow-covered branches, stars in the sky. Glassy synths shimmer like icy crystal as ghostly choral samples loop in the background. A perfect soundtrack for a cold winter’s night – with a little emotion added to melt your cold, cold heart.


Prints: Monoprint #24, 2017


This one was a couple of seasons in the making – but it’s finally ready for the world.

Five colors on found paper. Available at the Cherokee Heights Arts Festival in Marietta Georgia on Saturday, November 11. But there’s only one to be had, so be quick! See you there?


Things We Like: “Wait in the Car”

Colors! Layers! Bricks!

The Breeders are back with a new 7″ single and a super-saturated new video by former Vaughn Oliver associate Chris Bigg. Oliver and Bigg are, of course, praised for their cover art and design expertise on so many 4AD projects including every single Pixies release. This video is right up there with the best of them.

You’re going to need to watch this one full-screen.


Prints: Untitled, 2017


Pop colors and geometry. What else do you really need?

This one – along with a bunch of new, new, new work – will be available at our shop at the Cherokee Heights Arts Festival in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 11. See you there?