The song “Traffic” playfully deals with modern anxiety in all its forms, all the little things that can make us blow up and all the tricks we have to calm us down afterward. Instead of making a more abstract video, director Andrew Schneider and Lushes decided to take it back to the source of the song, by shooting the band driving around in New York City. The focus is kept keenly on the emotions etched in their faces – boredom, anger, fatigue, hilarity, cabin fever, calm, road rage, and finally disbelief that this is the world we’ve built for ourselves. The final shot in Times Square stands in stark contrast to the floating beauty of the song’s end, suggesting the mood of the place in all its bright, alluring emptiness.
Lushes are a band born of tensions – between art and math, order and chaos, planning and chance. You can hear it in their songs – taut, twitching art-punk that balances anxiety and elation, often within the space of a few bars. This is push-pull music, songs that temper the jagged fitfulness of groups like June of 44 and Slint with the soft-focus sweetness and open-ended song structures of The Sea & Cake and The Notwist.
The debut full-length What Am I Doing was produced by their good friend Annabel Alpers, better known as Bachelorette (Drag City), and she expertly controls the group’s varying moods. As James explains, “I want people to think, ‘Wait, this is loud and guitar-heavy one minute, but the next song opens with backwards piano loops.’ I want them to feel like they’re constantly being caught off-guard.”
10.29 London, UK @ Tooting Tram
10.30 Paris, FR @ La Mécanique Ondulatoire
11.01 Nantes, FR @ Festival Soy
11.02 Lille, FR @ La Malterie
11.03 Brussels, BE @ VRT, Studio Brussel Duyster (Radio Session)
11.04 Leverkusen, DE @ Struppig Tanzen
11.05 Nuremburg, DE @ Musikzentrale
11.06 Ghent, BE @ Trefpunt (Autumn Falls Festival)
11.07 Asse, BE @ ‘t Smiske (Autumn Falls Festival)