by the partae
Tomorrow sees the release of Exit Index, a new album from NYC’s Grooms.  In advance of the LP the band has shared a new single “End” and Grooms’ Travis Johnson says the track “is about my friend Thomas Fekete who died last year while we were recording the record. I had been sending him early mixes of the record and we were talking about what it sounded like, and then he left us. I still didn’t have lyrics for this one yet at the time and it became about him. Musically, it’s all cut up and pasted into the song that it is now from like 10 minutes of jamming, plus some sections from this noisy sample collage stuff I’d made in the months before we went in to record.”
Grooms has previously shared “Magistrate Seeks Romance” and Brooklyn Vegannoted ‘it is one of the the album’s more propulsive tracks.”  Of earlier single Turn Your Body” Stereogum said it “presents a more softly psychedelic interpretation of Grooms’ Sonic Youth-inspired sound.”
Grooms has confirmed a hometown record release show at Brooklyn Bazaar on October 25.  Tickets are available here.
Johnson has co-owned the Brooklyn pedal company Death By Audio Effects since 2008 and to celebrate Exit Index he made a limited-edition effect pedal, released this week.  He says, “I wanted to make a tremolo pedal to come out with the Exit Index because, almost randomly, there is a lot of tremolo used on it. I’ve barely used tremolo before but came across an old Fender Princeton amp with tremolo, given to me for free, and decided to record most of the guitars with it. The tremolo on it is noisy and interesting and I used it a lot but it made me think about how I hadn’t heard anything all that interesting done in a trem pedal in a while. It’s one of the oldest, simplest effects. So I decided to try and make something that involves tremolo but really pushes it in weird ways. I like weird, noisy, idiosyncratic effects, so I decided to use the noisiness of that Fender amp and give it more violence, almost like a Leslie, with lots of aggression and thump that can, but doesn’t have to, mangle the signal. It can make really angelic, pretty sounds and alien, harsh ones too. I hope people have fun with it.”  More info here:

Grooms is singer-guitarist Travis Johnson, drummer Steve Levine, and bassist Jay Heiselmann.  On Exit Index the band combines the abandon of pop with the unease of American life in 2017, cloaking its hooks in a clamor of samples and distortion, its agitation expressed in its dream-poetry lyrics.
Grooms laid down the skeleton tracks for Exit Index at the storied New York recording studio The Magic Shop-the last band to record there. Collin Dupuis (Angel Olsen, Lana Del Rey) mixed the album, adding a few finishing touches to intros and song structures while also making the structures Grooms construct sound even more massive and imposing.  Exit Index marks the first time Grooms had the same lineup for two records in a row and Johnson further notes, “you can hear how locked in we are. The songs are better after we all have a say in them.” The album is the follow up to Grooms’ 2015’s Comb The Feelings Through Your Hair which Pitchfork labeled “defiantely liberated.”
Exit Index track listing:

The Directory

Softer Now
Some Fantasy
They Can Tell
Pre-Order Exit Index


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Featured Photo Credit: by Ebru Yildiz

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