New York City-based band Imaginary People release the second single from their upcoming third full-length album Alibi. Crazy Eight follows on from their previous release, Hometown, which was out last month, and will be released on 25th February, however RockShot Magazine are pleased to exclusively premiere it today.
No one can accuse Imaginary People of being light and fluffy and Crazy Eight follows their formulae of dark, mournful, anthemic numbers. There is a delicious pounding riff that permeates throughout the track. This insight into a hopeless downward spiral of madness is relentless and you can sense the growing doom. Dylan Von Wagner’s vocal which is like David Byrne, with a Bryan Ferry vibrato oozes dread. There is no fade out, as the track ends as abruptly as it started.
Imaginary People told us “Derived from a moog riff and drum machine sequence, it’s what happens when an analyst delves into the mind of a young patient that plays in a dark circle. Once a human begins a certain disturbing experience where there seems to be no wrong, they’re left with the paralyzing draft of air that is the parasite of hopelessness.”
Imaginary People’s forthcoming album, Alibi, is a response to the cultural civil war that Von Wagner sees unfolding all across the USA. “I just think we’re in an ultimate fight right now,” he says.
“Our society is falling apart and the ins and outs of our cultural differences are splitting – it feels like what one person says is right and what the other person says is wrong and that’s it. The whole time we were doing the record, it felt like normalcy was falling apart. The things you’d think would ordinarily be right and wrong aren’t happening anymore, and that was very disturbing to me.”
That cultural dystopia bristles through Alibi’s 11 songs. Recorded by Phil Weinrobe (Nick Murphy, Pussy Riot, Stolen Jars) at Rivington 66 in New York City, as well as upstate with Eli Crews at Spillway Sound in the Catskills, and mixed by Eli Crews (Tuneyards, Deerhoof, Xylouris White) at Figure 8 in Brooklyn. This is an album that shimmers with a twisted beauty, which feeds off all of that disturbing substance and turns it into something both harrowing and beautiful.
As such, the band – Dylan Von Wagner (vocals), Mark Roth (guitar), Justin Repasky (keys/synth), Kolby Wade (drums), Bryan Percivall (bass/synth), and with additional synth work by Grant Zubritsky – have not just perfectly captured the times in which this record was written, but have managed to turn the nightmare of the modern world into something truly exquisite, pitting emotional vulnerability against an almost resigned stoicism.
While there are glimpses of light throughout the darkness that permeates every aspect of Alibi – one that captures the nature of what humanity has become – and while its songs do reflect the harsh, bleak reality of being alive – and of the coldness and meanness of the big city, especially when the world feels like it’s collapsing – it also manages to exist on its own, and on its own terms.
“Imaginary People are just in our own little world,” says Von Wagner. “I don’t think we really participate, we live in New York and it was made here, but we just keep to ourselves. I don’t know where this stuff comes from or why I feel this way and write this. I feel like it’s a weird addiction that I can’t shake, and I don’t think any psychoanalysis is going to shed light on it.”
The world of Alibi is a cold, dark, lonely place, but so is the world. Stick around long enough, however, and the light might just start to shine through. Alibi is due for release on July 12th.