Activity have just shared a new song called “Earth Angel”. Lifted from the Avant four-piece’s upcoming album, Unmask Whoever, the track is a deceptively simple, easy-access passage to something of substance and note. Let’s talk about it.
Vocalist Travis Johnson described the dimensions of the song, and the demands it placed on his larynx. “…the vocals at the end physically hurt to perform… I could taste blood.” Superficially, this is a remark that sounds like a statement on volume, dynamic range, sonics – all that. Actually, it’s something more.
In this track, and “Calls Your Name”, which was released back in January, Activity appear to be channeling something larger than expectation. What Johnson does here, in his vocal work is to remove the performance element. He just, sort of, becomes the song. That sounds pretentious. But it feels true. Nothing is reached for, though the song is reaching. Nothing is projected, though the song throws light into all the corners.
There’s an authenticity to the track – all the usual elements are there – simple, initially shiny hooks, the building progression, and hyper-hygienic percussive structures. But then, the dissolve. The ‘fucking around’ that Thompson details in his lyrics.
For the cacophony and dissolving infrastructure of the song, there is deep joy here. Freedoms are offered. There is love at the core. Activity show the way.
This shit is good shit. It’s even better with volume, headphones and accompanying screams.
Unmask Whoever will be released via Western Vinyl on March 27.
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