Ahead of the Brooklyn experimental artist’s record release, we’re stoked to share an exclusive track recorded in April 2020—a “direct reaction to the constant anxiety that everyone was feeling in NYC at the time“
Music is about capturing emotion.
Often, that’s done through melody, but sometimes a tune you can whistle along with… well, that just doesn’t cut it.
Enter “Latrodectus Mactans,” the very new (very intense) track from BK experimental artist Pharmakos that speaks… or rather, thrashes… to one of humanity’s most potent, primal emotions: fear.
It’s definitely not something you’re going to hear on the radio or casually playing through invisible speakers when you’re picking up mascara and mouthwash at CVS. But that’s kind of the point. In the early stages of the pandemic, when anxiety gripped the world with a chokehold tighter than most of us have experienced in our let’s-say-30 years on the planet, writing something sing-songy wouldn’t have made much sense. (For the record, that’s def not Pharmakos’s style anyway.) That moment—when we were simultaneously at our most terrified (scared to leave the house, sanitizing even our bottles of sanitizer) and most ridiculous (hoarding so much toilet paper, baking so much bread)—demanded something stronger. Less fruit punch, more moonshine….
Or maybe, like, gasoline. Yeah, that’s probably more accurate.
I’m proud to drop this song as not just a singular (and btw, exclusive) sonic attack, but a preview of what you might expect from Destroy the System, the new record from Pharmakos that drops tomorrow. (Pre-order it here.)
Ahead of the release, Cole Garner Hill—the artist + writer behind the project— shared the story of the song and the universally heightened state that inspired it ~10 months ago.
“The title of this track comes from the Latin name for the Southern Black Widow spider, something I’ve been terrified of since I was a child in Texas. When I wrote and recorded this song during the height of covid-isolation paranoia in April 2020, it was a direct reaction to the constant anxiety that everyone was feeling in NYC at the time—that everything and potentially everyone was threatening. This is probably why I naturally gravitated to harnessing a vocal sample saying ‘I ain’t in no mood to die tonight’ amidst pummeling doom drums, serrated guitars and industrial electronics. I felt like it captured the mood of that moment in history: being besieged by fear.”
As we’ve since transitioned from a permanent state of terror to a constant, more manageable sense of ever-present anxiety—and even, with a light finally visible at this very long tunnel, perhaps a bit of that thing they call hope— we can now consider “Latrodectus Mactans” a sonic time capsule. A raw reminder of what we went through that also, nearly a year later, reminds us how far we’ve come.
Scoop up Pharmakos’s music on Bandcamp now!
Photo (provided by the artist): Frankie Marin