The debut single from the energetic shoegaze band is inspired by a brief and beautiful feeling of “participating in the present”—and is prescribed to be listened to LOUD
Forget Meet Me In The Bathroom— meet me in the basement.
In sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll sense, the former feels glam but the latter really speaks to the grind (they’ve both got the grime), and if one were instantly granted the x-ray vision required to peek into the underground spaces lining Brooklyn streets, they would—along with extra storage space and standard city subterranean horrors of the tooth-and-tailed variety—discover inspirational scenes with creatives cranking away, utilizing the privacy and space of theSE relatively soundproof settings to craft tracks that, after they’ve been practiced, perfected and polished, we as lucky listeners are able to enjoy on more-sea-level stages across NYC.
While I’d personally love the opportunity to enjoy a glimpse and a gawk in the basement of countless bands across the borough, the hive of activity where I’d most want to be a fly on the wall has got to be that of King Bug, a five-piece shoegaze band working and writing out of the lowest level of a certain Bushwick apartment and one whose music is not just about to make a rare above-ground appearance but its full-on internet debut NOW in the form of their debut single “Lights”—
A song which, a day ahead of its official release, I’m thrilled to premiere here!
Amber in my skin / Orange peels oceans / Taste the sidewalk undertow / Now it’s kicking in / Tingling feeling / Hold on tight and don’t let go/ Fine fine day, find find a day / Yeah
According to Eddie Kuspiel (the King Bug himself), the project has been in the works “for a really long time,” but the band finally solidified their lineup just last year with the addition of Justin Krim, before heading into the studio to record their music, a sounds and style that’s been poetically described as the ” embodiment of the tip of your tongue feeling, an exploration of not being able to make up your mind.”
Now, it’s all too easy to throw around supergroup when describing bands in Brooklyn. As I wrote in the Bands do BK book, Brooklyn is a beautifully tangled web of wonder and weirdos, a community packed with people who are constantly creating and collaborating and a shape-shifting scene in which bands morph and multiply like musically gifted gremlins fed (mostly beers) after midnight. However, it’s hard not to use that term when breaking down the roster of King Bug, a band that includes the aforementioned Justin and Eddie, plus Lyzi Wakefield Matt Keim and Louis Cozza, who collectively play with/in Cult of Chunk, Gesserit, TVOD, Andrew Pichardo, Nick Cage and more—including the band that in my mind (and ears) is most reminiscent of, and recognizable in, this one: Color Tongue, another of Eddie’s primary projects and a band I’ve listened to and loved for years. And it’s a joy to watch and witness these artists (and friends) come alive in different arrangements, settings and styles, harnessing some of the same skills and showing off new ones, bringing their distinct personalities to each unique endeavor as as they work with and off each other to create something totally new.
Now let’s get to the song itself. “Lights” was recorded at Strange Weather in Brooklyn with Garret De Block, mastered by Gabriel Perez and features album art by Tess Michalik. And for those who are even more about the meaning than the making (me), who are always in search of the story behind the song (guilty as charged), Eddie shares that “Lights” was written about a single and rare piece of peace—the slice of time spent taking notice of, and finding joy in, one’s surroundings and living in the moment rather than inside one’s head.
“I have really bad ADD or ADHD, (I can’t remember which one) so it’s hard for me to be present when people are talking to me, or when I’m on a trip or pretty much always,” he shared over email. “This song is based on a very specific moment when I was very conscious…conscious of the weather, what people were wearing and saying and the sensation of my clothing on my body…it just felt really nice to be participating in the present. So this song is a little reminder of that feeling.”
Also: “It’s prescribed to be listened to LOUD.” And as of this weekend, you’ll have the chance to do just that—online and IRL!—when the single hits streaming services and the band hits the stage! Pre-save the song here and go out and celebrate it at the release show SATURDAY NIGHT at Brooklyn Made with The Silk War, Sharkswimmer and Real Burn. Tickets available here.
Follow King Bug at @yoitskingbug.
Feature image (provided by the band): Michelle LoBianco