Priests – “The Seduction Of Kansas” Video

Two years ago, the DC punk outfit Priests released their debut album Nothing Feels Natural. The group had already generated buzz with cassettes and a 2014 EP release, but the album confirmed it: This was a fiery young band that demanded our attention. We later ranked Nothing Feels Natural as one of the best albums of 2017, and just last month Priests headlined our 3rd annual Christmas show at Baby’s All Right. On that night, they offered a seasonally-appropriate cover of “Christmas Wrapping” — but more importantly, they offered a preview of new material. And if you were at that show, you knew that whatever Priests were cooking up next was very much worth looking forward to.

Today, Priests are back with the official announcement of their sophomore effort, The Seduction Of Kansas. This time around, the core trio — vocalist Katie Alice Greer, guitarist G.L. Jaguar, and drummer Daniele Daniele — were joined by a few collaborators. Janel Leppin served as “primary bassist” and contributed songwriting. (Previously, Leppin had played cello, mellotron, and lap steel on Nothing Feels Natural.) The band also teamed with all-star indie producer John Congleton. Finally, bassist Alexandra Tyson also played on the album, while also joining Priests’ touring lineup. Opening up their process presumably resulted in a more expansive album, as do the somewhat unexpected influences they’ve namechecked: darkened, electronic-driven albums like Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, Portishead’s Third, and NIN’s The Downward Spiral.

Along with the announcement, Priests have shared The Seduction Of Kansas’s title track. Album and song alike refer to the atmosphere of the country in which they were created. Citing Thomas Frank’s 2004 book What’s The Matter With Kansas? and his argument that Kansas’ sway predicts the national direction, the band has unveiled an alluring but discomfiting lead single that appears to grapple with the idea of certain symbolic stretches of America out through the middle of the country and “the seduction” of those places towards particular outlooks. Greer sings about “a drawn out charismatic parody of what a country thought it used to be”; there’s also a verse where she lists “White Castle, Pizza Hut, and even Applebee’s.” It always ends in the same place, a chorus proclaiming: “It’s you/ I’m the one who loves you/ It’s true.”

“There’s something sinister about the idea of seducing a whole state,” Daniele Daniele said of the track and title. “You’re clearly up to something. Why would you do it?” Fittingly, there is something unnerving about how “The Seduction Of Kansas” slithers rapidly forward, propulsive beats carrying Greer’s initially unpredictable melody. True to the “seduction” part of the equation, the song also finds Priests wielding a poppiness and slickness new to their sound. Watch the video below, and check out the full tracklist and tour dates behind The Seduction Of Kansas.

TRACKLIST:

01 “Jesus’ Son”
02 “The Seduction Of Kansas”
03 “Youtube Sartre”
04 “I’m Clean”
05 “Ice Cream”
06 “Good Time Charlie”
07 “68 Screen”
08 “Not Perceived”
09 “Control Freak”
10 “Carol”
11 “Interlude”
12 “Texas Instruments”

TOUR DATES:

03/08 – Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover Music Festival
03/09 – Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse
03/11 – 03/15 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/17 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
03/18 – Knoxville, TN @ The Pilot Light
04/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
04/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
04/18 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
04/19 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo
04/20 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
04/21 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
04/22 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
04/25 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
04/26 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
04/27 – Omaha, NE @ Reverb
04/28 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
04/30 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
05/01 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
05/11 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
05/12 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade
05/13 – Manchester, UK @ YES (Pink Room)
05/14 – Glasgow, UK @ The Hug And Pint
05/15 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
05/16 – London, UK @ 100 Club
05/17 – Lille, FR @ Aeronef
05/18 – Paris, FR @ Supersonic
05/20 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique (Witloof Bar)
05/21 – Cologne, DE @ Bumann & Sohn
05/22 – Munich, DE @ Import/Export
05/23 – Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik
05/24 – Heidelberg, DE @ Queer Festival (Karlstorbahnhof)
05/25 – Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
05/27 – Aarhus DK @ Tape
05/28 – Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen
05/29 – Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain
05/30 – Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklag (Goldener Salon)
05/31 – Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival
06/01 – Neustrelitz, DE @ Immergut Festival
06/15 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
06/16 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
06/17 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
06/18 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
06/20 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
06/21 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
06/22 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
06/24 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
06/25 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
06/26 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
06/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
06/29 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club
07/01 – Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall
07/02 – Vancouver, BC @ The Bitmore
07/03 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
07/06 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
07/07 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
07/09 – Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
07/10 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway

The Seduction Of Kansas is out 4/5 via Sister Polygon. Pre-order it here. (Also, the first 350 people who pre-order via Sister Polygon Records directly will receive a 18″ x 24″ glossy poster and a The Seduction of Kansas enamel pin.)