With the release of three EPs, Gold, Better Off, and Broken Machine, and their full length debut Palace of Industrial Hope, San Francisco, CA-based indie rock quintet The New Up — comprised of ES Pitcher (vocals, guitar), Noah Reid (guitar, vocals), Hawk West (automation), Nick Massaro (bass) and Art McConnell (drums) — have developed a reputation for a DIY approach which they’ve steadfastly held on to since their formation, and a genre mashing sound that possesses elements of garage rock and electro pop paired with philosophical-leaning lyrics. Interestingly enough, the band has drawn comparisons to Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Kills — although to my ears, the band also reminds me quite a bit of Bay Area contemporaries Dirty Ghosts.
When it came time to start working on the material that would comprise the San Francisco-based quintet’s sophomore effort Tiny Mirrors, the members of the band decided to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to obtain the necessary fear to create their own recording studio, which the band felt was absolutely essential to realize their creative vision for the album — without interference. After successfully surpassing their goal, the band used those funds to construct a home studio, which included converting a closet into an isolation booth. Then during the recording process, they converted a secluded Mendocino County, CA barn into a state-of-the-art recording facility, where Jack Frost, who has worked with Antartica and BlackRock NYC produced it. The album was then mixed by Sean Beresford, who has worked with Chuck Prophet, The Donnas and Vanessa Carlton.
The album’s latest single “Black Swan” is a slinky and slickly produced track in which shimmering and atmospheric electronics, slashing and angular guitar chords and a sinuous bass line are paired with ES Pitcher’s sensual vocals — singing lyrics that reveal the narrator’s urgent, carnal need, the need (and desire) to lose one’s self, if even for a little bit, her increasing frustration with people and human relationships and empty, soulless hookups. And at the core of the song is the growing loneliness that being in a large city can inspire in all of us.
Directed by Hassan Said, the recently released, sensual video for the song was shot in one continuous take and is inspired by a true (and very fucked up) story — and it features a couple of incredibly cinematic sequences including the video’s incredibly drunk protagonist stumbling around a bar and club while on the verge of vomiting and being followed by an (presumably) obsessed and deranged woman, who fakes being attacked to bring the object of her obsession closer to her.