Chicago-based post-punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Ganser can trace its origins back to when its founding members Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) and Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) met in art school. Bonding over a shared love of The Residents, outsider communities and the work of John Waters and David Lynch, the duo developed a hands-on DIY craftsmanship that eventually carried over into their band — with the band, which also features Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) sharing writing duties. closely collaborating on all of their music videos and album art, as well as crafting visuals to accompany their live show.
With the release of their full-length debut, 2018’s Odd Talk, the members of the Chicago-based post-punk outfit quickly developed a national profile, with the album receiving attention nationally and across the blogosphere for a sound that critics compared to the likes of Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with incisive lyrics critiquing larger social issues — with their debut thematically focusing on communication breakdowns and the difficulties of being understood, intimacy and avoidance. Last year, the band was in the studio writing and recording material — some of which comprised their Brian Fox and Mia Clarke co-produced EP You Must Be New Here, which featured songs that focused on self-aware observations on the tenuous and dysfunctional relationship between author/creator and their audience.
Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Ganser’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Just Look at That Sky is slated for a July 31, 2020 release through Felte Records. Thematically, the album finds the band probing the futility of striving for self-growth during chaos as the songs evoke manic worry and dread and a generalized sense of doom with a sardonic specificity. The songs also acknowledge that we’re all online all the time and that at any given moment, we have too much information about other people and other situations — and that we are all generally a tweet, a status update or an Instagram post away from truly knowing what our followers and others really think of us. The world seems like it’s ending, and it’s all overwhelming and draining mentally and emotionally.
Just Look at That Sky’s first single, album opening “Lucky” is an tense and explosive track that’s one part Midwest noise-rock, one part post-punk and one part art rock centered around rumbling low end, discordant blasts of angular guitar, thunderous drumming and Garofalo’s desperate howling. Arguably one of the most urgent and uneasy songs they’ve released to date, the song as the band’s Nadia Garofalo explains “is a commentary on personal feelings of inadequacy and how these feelings can often result in unhealthy or extreme behaviors. Especially now, as we are in a time of uncertainty, it feels like we have even less control over what is happening to and around us. Isn’t it shitty when things don’t work out in the way we’d hoped?”
Written, directed and edited by the members of Ganser, the video stars Tom DeFrancisco and Sean Gunderson as two desperate and friends/frenemies, who spend a night drinking irresponsibly — and just like any other party, there’s a brief moment in which things inexplicably take a weird and dangerous turn. Shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white, the video is a bit of a mind-fuck with the action at times going forward and in reverse at will, capturing a never-ending and vacillating stream of doubt and over-examination.