New Audio: Activity’s Latest Single is an Atmospheric and Psychologically Precise Character Study

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about the rapidly rising New York-based experimental act Activity. The act — Grooms‘ Travis Johnson (vocals, sampler) and Steve Levine (drums), Field Mouse‘s Zoe Browne (bass) and Russian Baths‘ Jess Rees — have begun to receive attention across the blogosphere for a eerily minimalist sound centered around the use of modern production, electronic instrumentation and organic instruction.

The rapidly rising act’s Jeff Berner-produced full-length debut Unmask Whoever is slated for a March 27, 2020 release through Western Vinyl, and the album’s material reportedly sees its creators forming a menacing and uneasy framework with which they pair lyrical themes of paranoia, exposed character flaws and the broader human capacity for growth when an uneasy truth is laid bare. So far I’ve written about two of the album’s releases ingles — the atmospheric and uneasy, Geoff Barrow-like “Calls Your Name” and the slow-burning and achingly painful “Earth Angel.” “Nude Prince,” Unmask Whoever continues a run of minimalist singles — but may be the most krautrock-like as the song is centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, thumping house music-inspired drum patterns, blasts of squiggling and angular guitars. Interestingly, the song is a psychologically precise narrative about a rich, powerful man, whose misdeeds are publicized, leaving his family to wonder what their own futures hold after is ruinous exposure. And as a result, the song is tense and uneasy, as it evokes a fatalistic sense of doom.