Recently, the venerated North Carolina indie Merge has been running a 7″ subscription service called Born Under A Good Sign. Back in May, two of Merge’s promising newer artists — both projects that feature members of other bands — released a split 7″ that included a couple of vinyl-only songs to subscribers. But today, to benefit the Native American environmentalist organization Honor The Earth, Merge has released both of those songs to the general public.
Joyero is Andy Stack, one half of Wye Oak, going solo. Stack released the Joyero debut album Release The Dogs in August. “Evacuate,” his contribution to that 7″ single, is a hazy, fractured bedroom-pop song. Stack plays all the instruments on it. In a press release, Stack says, “This song was written during a state of emergency. A hurricane was passing over my new home of North Carolina. Everyone was gripped by fear and uncertainty, and normal life shut down for a few days. Some big limbs were broken and there was some cleaning up to do, but in the end, the storm passed and the sky cleared.” Here’s the song:
Gauche, meanwhile, come from Washington, DC and make jittery, driving, catchy music that straddles the line between post-punk and new wave. The band features members of Priests and Downtown Boys, and they released their debut album A People’s History Of Gauche in July, and it rules. “Body Count,” Gauche’s new song, has nothing to do with Ice-T’s metal band. It’s a little more serious than that.
In that same press release, singer and guitarist Mary Jane Regalado says that this one, coincidentally, was also while dealing with the effects of a hurricane: “The song was written in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico was left with no water or electricity for the following six months. It’s been two years, and we still have no idea how many people died in the aftermath. There is a certain devastation that comes with seeing firsthand how our white supremacist country has no regard for the lives of people of color. It’s around us today, and it has always been there. There’s no turning away from the harms of American imperialism and colonialism.” Here’s that song:
Both “Evacuate” and “Body Count” are out now on the streaming services.