Formed back in 2014, the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser — comprised of founding members Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) and Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) with Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) — have received attention both locally and nationally for a sound that was largely influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with lyrics, which served as incisive critiques on larger social issues. And as you may recall, the act’s critically applauded full-length debut Odd Talk focused on communication breakdowns with the material featuring narrators desperately seeking meaning in hopeless confusion and messiness. At points, narrators seem to be literally sorting through layers of syllables and signals in an attempt to find the right words to say what they wanted — or needed to say.
The members of Ganser have been in the studio recording new material over the past few months while working on their second album. Their first single of this year, “Bad Form” is a furious song that seethes with anxiety, self-loathing and self-flagellation that further cements the tense, angular sound that first caught my attention. While the song is a cathartic reaction to a year-long writing period, it finds the band increasingly adapting to a collaborative writing process. “When you’re in the middle of writing and recording, it’s very easy to fall into extreme feelings of guilt over procrastination, when you’re already stretched thin,” the band’s Alicia Gaines explains in press notes. “It’s nice to operate as a team, and act as a unit that can take the burden of some really ugly inner talk.”
Co-directed by Kirsten Miccoli and Ganser, the recently released video features blinding light that paralyzes the band’s members, rapid-fire cuts, surreal vignettes that communicate the wishful thinking (and desire) of being someone else, a disorientating array of dopplegangers and lookalikes. The video suggests that the creative process as being a frustrating and soul crushing series of doubt, anxiety, uncertainty and procrastination and ugly self-talk.