ABOVE: NEW VILLAGER. IMAGE COURTESY OF ASGER CARLSEN
“Womb, strictures, domesticity”: these are the ideas outlined by New Villager’s Ross Simonini in a dialogue about our track of the week, “Cocoon House” from the band’s newest, self-titled album. Fittingly, Simonini and bandmate Ben Bromley recorded the song in a semi-dilapidated house in the East Bay of California, not far from where the pair grew up. It is a sexy, psych-pop labyrinth with balanced, warm, and moody harmonies and percussion. Snaps and hand claps lock in an airtight groove, while their sexy falsetto rides along smooth, open vocal tones. Jagged bass lines push and pull throughout, capturing the band’s knack for alluring, body-moving tension. The song’s images—rooms and houses—work as undercurrents throughout, referencing a variety of life’s self-imposed boundaries. In Simonini’s words, “We get bored, and need to push against hardship just to feel alive and psyched about daily life.”
Since recording “Cocoon House,” New Villager has moved across the country to Brooklyn and continued to obscure the boundaries between musical performance and performance art. Having rounded out their live show with drummer Collin Palmer, the band might appropriate a gallery space, as they did for a group show at David Zwirner, or create a site-specific performance, such as a recent stint in a gutted church. As “Cocoon House” suggests, New Villager chooses the home in which to place their noise.
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