NYC’s Navy Gangs release new single ‘Awkward Exchange’

by the partae
Navy Gangs

“A blearing, wire-cutter lead, accompanied by moaning fuzz and Tillwick’s exhausted wail, sets the scene for an unnerving slab of ’90s-inspired garage-rock” – Stereogum

“You can tell Navy Gangs have their origins in Omaha, Nebraska by the sun-struck Great Plains ease at the core of their scruffy sound.” – The Fader

 “A hazy piece of fuzzy garage-pop, with a weirdly uplifting vocal melody that definitely works its way deep into the brain.” – Pile Rats

“Piercing extended vibrato guitar melody lines and sludgy bass-drums accompaniment create a feel comparable to Dinosaur Jr.’s early days.” – NYC Deli Magazine

“Bursting with passion and anxious energy.” – Deafen County

“[Poach is] sprinkled with the band’s signature energetic riffs but also offers doom and gloom.” – AdHoc

“Through putting on their own shows, forging their own community and hustling in the Big Apple, [Navy Gangs have] been able to deliver some slick, slacker-pop tunes into the world.” – Life Without Andy

Stream ‘Awkward Exchange’

Premiering right now via Deafen County, New York’s Navy Gangs have returned with hazy new track, Awkward Exchange. It’s the third single from their debut album, Poach, which is due out August 3 via Dinosaur City Records and Modern Sky USA.

“On ‘Awkward Exchange’, Navy Gangs really allow the instrumentals to do a lot of the talking. The band generally explore somewhat darker themes around loneliness, and the often-complex experience of simply trying to make sense of the world in 2018. But they offer a brighter alternative too – the glimmering guitars and warming percussion evoke a real sense of hope. It’s this raw, DIY approach that makes their sound feel so authentic.” Says Kylie of Deafen County. View the whole article here.

In a recent interview with The Mind Map, Noah Kohl says “One of the biggest challenges in life is being able to accept where you are at. There is always this yearning, I feel, for something more. Whether it is a better job, a better song, a better relationship, I think that I am always missing something and to be honest, I haven’t overcome this feeling yet.” This theme is prevalent in latest single, Awkward Exchange, where two intertwining vocals sing “Stuck somewhere, I’m in-between a feel-good comedy and defeat”, against a backdrop of hazy guitars – a Navy Gangs signature.

Download Awkward Exchange WAV

Vocalist Matthew Tillwick and guitarist Noah Kohll hailed from Omaha, Nebraska before landing in Brooklyn, New York, where they formed Navy Gangs with Wilson Keithline on bass, and Eric Carey on drums. This year, the four-piece are set to release their debut full-length, ‘Poach’, on August 3 via Dinosaur City Recordsand Modern Sky USA. Mixed and mastered by Delicate Steve, an early champion of the band, the album exists in the in-between spaces and places that make up your life.

For a band whose music takes shape via a permeable unease, Navy Gangs have also confronted it head on, putting themselves on the map by sheer force of will: booking shows with a completely DIY ethos, relying on friends of friends of friends to carve out their own space and community.  “A continuous broil of anxious defiance” (Stereogum), their new material runs like a patchwork quilt steeped in the simplicity and specificity of these recalled experiences that are both hazy and important.

If there is one underlining quality that defines Navy Gangs, it is their unabashed unpretentiousness.  A band built on dark basements and DIY spaces, mixed with sun struck open air and motel pools –an offering of four friends’ collective identity as they see it, no brash introduction required. The reality and unreality of living in 2018.  Recognising that worrying if the grocery store is still open and if you are a good person are concerns that can coexist simultaneously, then going outside anyway.

On the new record, Navy Gangs deal with these contradictions and make peace. Happiness, Kohll says, is the most overrated virtue, and with the fourteen tracks on the band’s new record, you begin to understand that their perspective is perhaps just making the best of it.  “Someday you’ll die / and that’s alright” Tillwick sings in “Carrot Tops”, and the practically joyous, definitely infectious instrumentals that swirl around the vocals suggest the band has managed to capture, as well as embrace, a  beauty within all this darkness.

When it comes down to it, Navy Gang’s brand of indie rock reads as classic pop music, evoking that comfort and occasional exhilaration that comes with discovering someone else feels how you feel, the late night shows and parties where it’s not time to go home yet, the next morning waking up, keeping the shades closed, adjusting to the blinding light.

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