Kal Marks – “Dorothy” (Stereogum Premiere)
Boston’s Kal Marks write music that attempts to navigate the ickiest things about being human. On their last album, Life Is Murder, lead singer and lyricist Carl Shane outlined the human condition in bleak terms: “Life is murder, and we’re forced to fight a war that we can’t win.” Maybe this outlook is pessimistic, or maybe it’s realistic — it all depends on your point-of-view. The band followed that album with their Just A Lonely Fart EP, which featured a song about George Zimmerman and the confounding lack of empathy and morality shown by various police departments across the U.S. over the course of history, and especially over the course of the past year. Though Kal Marks deal with some of the heavier aspects of existence, their music isn’t nihilistic, and though Shane’s songs are often brooding, they also provide some semblance of solace for like-minded thinkers. Kal Marks will release a new album, Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies in February, and Shane took a step back from the band’s earlier work while writing it:
We made a record about two years ago that for the most was centered around depression, pessimism, self hatred and shame. When writing for the new record (Life is Alright, Everybody Dies) I felt it was necessary to not write the same ol’ shit.
Thematically I guess this record would be about empathy for all walks of life. Trying to understand other people’s pain and oppression in relation to your own experiences. I still think life is really rough, but I’m trying not to be such a self centered prick anymore.
We’re extremely proud of this record. We hope you enjoy.
“Dorothy” is Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies’ debut single, which Shane says was written about a friend who struggled with mental illness. Listen below.
Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies is out 2/19 via Exploding in Sound/Midnight Werewolf Records. Pre-order it here.