Maneka – “Winner’s Circle”

Maneka – “Winner’s Circle”

Maneka is the project of former Speedy Ortiz/Grass is Green guitarist Devin McKnight. Today, he’s announcing a new album called Dark Matters, the follow-up to his 2019 debut Devin. “With dark matter, it’s there but it’s not: Just like our history with race,” McKnight explains. “A lot of people are aware of its existence, but you can’t touch it. You can’t smell it. But it’s among us. America has this really dark energy. How has it been this fucked up for this long and no one’s done anything about it?”

“There’s a lot about being a racial minority in this country, in general, that kind of ends up in the cracks,” McKnight adds in a statement. “There are stories that get literally thrown out or explained away or hurt too much to talk about: the Tulsa massacre, sundown towns, etc. … I wanted to introduce the idea of indie rock fused with gaudy bejeweled blackness. We’re not ashamed of our success, we’re flaunting it.”

The record’s lead single, “Winner’s Circle,” is a fascinating, shapeshifting track that begins as hybrid between atmospheric sing-rap and aqueous bedroom-pop before descending into heavier territory and then taking a sharp left turn into punk-rock. “I don’t care whether or not it’s true whether Beethoven was Black or not but if it’s true, he wore a white face to fit in so that people wouldn’t know that he had a darker complexion,” McKnight says. “This is me confronting that: I was just talking to Beethoven as if he’s just some dude from around the way that I recognize and telling him to be proud of who you are.” Listen below.

Dark Matters is out 3/11 via Skeletal Lightning. Pre-order it here.

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