Joey La Neve DeFrancesco is a guitarist and vocalist in the Providence-based punk band Downtown Boys as well as a producer in the dance duo Malportado Kids. Next month, DeFrancesco will release a new EP under the solo moniker La Neve; American Sounds is an electronic endeavor that sounds vastly different from the compositions DeFrancesco writes with Downtown Boys, but the lyrics on the EP hold fast to the band’s political reputation. (If you haven’t been listening to Full Communism in these dark days, I highly recommend you do so.) For DeFrancesco, the personal has and always will be political. American Sounds’ title track comes accompanied by a video that shows La Neve strutting through the King Of Prussia Mall in suburban Pennsylvania. DeFrancesco, who identifies as genderqueer, is outfitted in a skintight black ensemble, drawing more than a few stares from the mall’s other patrons.
DeFrancesco and directors Sarah Kim and Patrick Smith chose to shoot at the King Of Prussia Mall for an explicit reason: this part of Pennsylvania is Trump Country. Keeping that in mind, La Neve’s shopping trip becomes an act of defiance. We’re now being governed by an administration that’s driving many of us to question what it really means to be an “American” when so many individuals are being forcefully excluded from this country’s future. La Neve’s “American Sounds” is all about eschewing the Trump administration’s backward standard as to who is and who is not an upstanding patriot. This song celebrates nonconforming identities. “I split in two/ Big question mark/ Hit a nail on the head and the blood runs down,” La Neve sings in a deep, post-punk drone. DeFrancesco shared the following statement about the song and video:
It feels strange to be releasing and promoting any music at such a dire time. There is so much worked to be done collectively and in whatever field you operate in. I do continue to believe though that we need to be controlling our cultural systems in any way we can, and music and images and video are one of many ways we can do that. The whole point of shooting this video was to go and loudly claim the right to take up space in these conservative, suburban spaces at a time when Trump’s America is trying to make queer, trans, and gender non-binary people as invisible and as threatened as possible. It’s a very dangerous time for so many people, particularly for those who were already in a vulnerable position. We need to be pushing back on that in whatever ways we can, and there’s so much to be done, but this video is one small message from me to tell the assholes to back the fuck up.
In short: there are a lot of American sounds, and we’d be really screwed if 3 Doors Down and the Piano Guys were the only. Watch La Neve’s new video and check out the American Sounds tracklist below.
American Sounds tracklist:
01 “American Sounds”
02 “Won’t Let It Go Mastered”
03 “2021 Needs It”
04 “Santa Lucia”
05 “8 To 8″
La Neve tour dates:
02/24 Philadelphia, PA @ Glitter Galaxy
02/26 Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn
04/04 Boston, MA @ TBA
03/05 Providence, RI @ Aurora
The American Sounds EP is out 2/24 via Don Giovanni. Pre-order it here.