Knifeplay share “Ryan Song” off upcoming LP ‘Animal Drowning’ (listen)
Philly band Knifeplay announced their sophomore LP Animal Drowning last month, and today they've released its second and final single, "Ryan Song." Animal Drowning is due October 19 via Topshelf Records, and was initially introduced with shoegazey lead single "Promise." The song mixes earnest indie vocals reminiscent of Snail Mail with heavy distortion and a grungy breakdown, and explores life's purpose (or lack thereof) in its lyrics. Speaking about "Promise," songwriter and vocalist Tj Strohmer says:
We are all born to be free people and artists, meant to go after self-actualization. But we are spit out, scared and confused, into the spiritually emaciated modern world. Most people either follow what they’re taught is “practical” or just wither in that fear and confusion.
In contrast to "Promise," "Ryan Song" strips down much of the distortion and noise to pay tribute to Tj Strohmer's late friend. With simpler instrumentation, limited to echoing piano and slide guitar, a heartfelt and vulnerable sound shines. In an interview with Ian Cohen for Stereogum, Tj said that he "[couldn't] wait to put that song out because I do want to break away from people calling us a shoegaze band." He also comments:
This song is about a friend who died young. He was a gifted writer and an incredible, one of a kind person who judged no one. Yet he was deeply misunderstood by most and lived with a lot of pain. A late-night conversation with a mutual friend inspired me to write something that was really about him, rather than my selfish feelings on his passing. Obviously, I will never know for sure if these words actually would have resonated with him, but I did my best with what I do know and I think the feelings expressed in this song are things anyone can relate to.
Both "Promise" and "Ryan Song" come with music videos directed by Ben Turok. Watch those, and check out the album art and track list for Animal Drowning, below.
Knifeplay will be on tour in November following the release of Animal Drowning. The tour kicks off with a Brooklyn show on November 4 at The Broadway. Tickets are on sale. Tour poster and all dates below.
Animal Drowning Tracklist
Knifeplay -- Fall US Tour
November 04, 2022 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Broadway
November 05, 2022 - Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
November 07, 2022 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
November 09, 2022 - Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
November 11, 2022 - Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR PUB
November 12, 2022 - Cleveland, OH @ Happy Dog