On August 21, Naked Giants will release sophomore album The Shadow (New West). The 11-track LP, produced by Chris Funk (Decemberists), follows 2018’s SLUFF. While the Seattle trio has made a name for itself over the past couple years by being part of Car Seat Headrest’s live band, The Shadow proves Naked Giants stand tallest when following their own muse.
“(God Damn!) What I Am” is the latest single and video from The Shadow, and while a cursory listen to it reveals a fuzz-drenched rocker perfect for summer fun, Naked Giants are quick to point out that there’s an important message within the track’s garage-rock madness.
“This song came about by reflecting on our experiences as a young touring rock band,” Naked Giants tell MAGNET via email. “There’s a whole whirlwind of stuff going on: a lot of fun, privilege and the opportunity to spread joy and positivity, but also a lot of uncertainty, anxious situations and the ever-present struggle to stay mentally healthy in a world that just doesn’t have time for it. So there grows this dissociation, these two worlds happening at once, one inner and one outer—and they’re always chaotically scrambling around each other.
“In addition to this, we’d be doing a disservice not to acknowledge that we have so much privilege going into touring; we only see the insidious racism and misogyny of the music industry from afar, and there’s an immense pressure—positive pressure—to use our platform to speak out against this both onstage and with fellow industry folks, even as we figure out how to fight it within ourselves. So all of this wraps up into this song, which attempts to catalog these disparate emotional battles and set it to some bombastic party rock. Because at the end of the day, we make music for people who just want to let loose from their own inner chaos for a little while.”
Like the rest of the world, Naked Giants are learning to adapt to living in Quarantine Nation, and that includes directing and editing their own videos. “We wanted to dive further into this idea of having to live several lives at once,” says the band. “We used some fun mirrors to make multiple distorted versions of ourselves, did some quick-fire costume and instrument changes, and tried to shove some philosophical thought in with the lyrics as they fly by below us.” Plus, you can never go wrong with Devo energy domes.
The Shadow is available for pre-order, and Naked Giants are doing a livestream record-release show on August 20 from the Nectar Lounge in Seattle. It’s a free/pay-what-you-wish performance, and a portion of the revenue generated will go to the venue as well as the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter and other affiliated organizations.
But in the meantime, we’re proud to premiere the video for “(God Damn!) What I Am” today on magnetmagazine.com. Watch it right here, right now.