New Video: The Dario Argento-Inspired Visuals for Preoccupations’ Latest Single “Anxiety”

Although they received a massive amount of attention across the blogosphere with the 2014 release of their self-titled full-length debut, the Calgary, Alberta-based quartet originally known as Viet Cong actually formed in 2012 and can trace their origins to a complicated and somewhat surreal six degrees of musical separation as the band is comprised of two childhood friends Matt Flegel (bass, vocals) and Mike Wallace (bass), who were both members of the defunct band Women;  Scott Munro (guitar) and Flegel both have a stints as part of Chad VanGaalen’s touring band and during their time touring with VanGaalen, both Flegel and Munro had discussed collaborating on something together; and lastly, Daniel Christiansen (guitar) had once played in  Black Sabbath cover band with Fiegel and other members of Women. And as the story goes, the band’s self-titled debut as Viet Cong was essentially written while the band was on a 50-date tour and recorded in a barn-turned studio in rural Ontario with the end result being an album full of taut, tense, moody and claustrophobic material that channelled Joy Division and Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics-era Interpol.

In the year since their full-length debut, the members of the band unwittingly found themselves in the midst of an ongoing conversation about cultural appropriate and questions about associating oneself — whether wittingly or unwittingly with band names that evoke the horrors of fascism, terrorist, etc.  Naturally, as a result of the surrounding controversy, the band decided a name change was absolutely necessary, and after some time, they announced that from this point on they’d be known as Preoccupations. Now, as the story goes, when the members of the band were about to write the material that would comprise their self-titled effort as Preoccupations, they found themselves in a series of uncertain and awkward situations. Years-long relationships had ended and the members of the band all relocated to different cities, which made their habit of writing material while on the road and inspired by their experiences on the road extremely difficult. So when they entered the studio, without a central theme or idea to guide them, they recognized that they were all about to take an enormous and collective leap of faith — and that at the very least that they had each other. And as a result, the material on the album slated for a September 16, 2016 release captures the band in transition.

As the band’s frontman Flegel explains in press notes, the material off the album draws from very specific things — the sort of things that ultimately has most people up all night, fraught with worry.  Unsurprisingly, the album’s first single “Anxiety,” is as Flegel explains about the process of natural and forced change upon the band; but on another level, the song not only captures the weird push and pull of almost every relationship mixed with bitterness, regret, ambivalence, frustration and self-doubt, it also manages to accurately capture the racing thoughts and emotions of someone in the middle of an anxious attack — the sort of attack where everything is fearful and terrible. Sonically, the song will further cement the Calgary-based quartet’s burgeoning reputation for crafting angular post-punk while suggesting a subtle change of sonic direction with a subtle atmospheric sheen.

The recently released music video was shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white and suggests that its director was deeply influenced by the work of Dario Argento; in fact, much like Argento’s work, the video possess a frightening dream-like logic.

The band is in the middle of a lengthy world tour, which includes a second New York area stop at Warsaw in October. Check out the tour dates below.

World Tour Dates

06.17.16 – Best Kept Secret Festival – Hilvarenbeek, NL

06.18.16 – Out Loud, Beursschouwburg – Brussels, BE

06.19.16 – De School – Amstderdam, NL

06.22.16 – Shacklewell Arms – London, UK

06.23.16 – Old Blue Last – London, UK

06.28.16 – Olympic Cafe – Paris, FR

06.30.16 – Urban Spree – Berlin, GER

07.02.16 – Castlepalooza – Tullamore, IE

07.09.16 – Ottawa Blues Festival – Ottawa, ONT

08.21.16 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX *

08.22.16 – Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX *

08.24.16 – Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX *

08.28.16 – FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA

08.29.16 – Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA *

08.30.16 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA *

09.01.16 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR *

09.02.16 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR *

09.28.16 – The Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC

10.01.16 – Mac Hall Ballroom – Calgary, AB ^

10.03.16 – WECC – Winnipeg, MB ^

10.04.16 – Fine Line Music Cafe – Minneapolis, Mn ^

10.05.16 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, Il ^

10.07.16 – Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, Mi ^

10.08.16 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON ^

10.11.16   Virgin Mobile Corona Theater   Montreal, QC ^

10.12.16 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, Ma ^

10.14.16 – Warsaw – Brooklyn NY ^

10.15.16 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, Pa ^

10.16.16 – Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington DC ^

10.18.16 – Masquerade – Atlanta, Ga ^

10.19.16 – Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, La ^

10.21.16 – The Mohawk – Austin, Tx ^

10.25.16 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, Az ^

10.26.16 – The Irenic – San Diego, Ca ^

10.28.16 – The Roxy – Los Angeles, Ca ^

10.29.16 – The Independent – San Francisco, Ca

11.02.16 – Neumos – Seattle, Wa ^

11.05.15 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK

11.06.16 – Gorilla – Manchester, UK

11.07.16 – Oval Space – London, UK

11.08.16 – Exchange – Bristol, UK

11.09.16 – The Haunt – Brighton, UK

11.10.16 – Le Guess Who Festival – Utrecht, NL

11.12.16 – Botanique – Brussels, BE

11.14.16 – Pumpehuset – Copenhagen, DK

11.15.16 – Molotow – Hamburg, DE

11.18.16 – Musiques Volantes Festival – Metz, FR

11.21.16 – La Laiterie – Strasbourg, FR

11.22.16 – Klaus – Zurich, CH

11.23.16 – Magnolia – Milan, IT

11.24.16 – Quirinetta – Rome, IT

11.25.16 – Locomotiv –  Bologna, IT

11.26.16 – Suprette Festival – Neuchatel, CH

11.28.16 – Luxor – Cologne, DE

^ w/ Methyl Ethel

* w/ Explosions In The Sky