The band is back crafting dystopian dance music for our uncertain times with a new single and playlist.
After a two-year hiatus, Brooklyn-via-Boston experimentalists Model/Actriz—now a quartet featuring vocalist Cole Haden, guitarist Jack Wetmore, drummer Ruben Radlauer, and bassist Aaron Shaprio—have released “Suntan,” their first release since 2017’s No EP. While more atmospheric than their previous output, “Suntan” sees them continuing to eschew genre lines, combining angular post-punk and brooding dark wave into a blast of turbulent noise rock.
The single opens with a staccato beat that quickly breaks into a sprint, creating a state of unease as Haden sings about sunbathing on a “burning hill” as “the center is collapsing / As the center is collapsing on you.” Haden’s cryptic lyrics—he sings about doomsday while also imploring the listener to “worry not, worry not”—weave an unsettling tale as guitars stutter and falter over the percussion, sending a chill up the listener’s spine while evoking the sort of cruel pleasure one might experience while dancing on an enemy’s grave.
To celebrate their return from hiatus and their latest single, the band has compiled a playlist of “songs you know and songs you don’t for when you’re stuck in traffic” for AdHoc. Since most of us are holed up at home now, the “stuck in traffic” part is probably a little less relevant—but we also recommend it as a quarantine soundtrack, which can certainly inspire an even more anxiety-ridden brand of stir-crazy.
Stream “Suntan” and check out the playlist below. “Suntan” is out now via Dots Per Inch Music.
Karen Dalton – “Katie Cruel”
A dreary folk march through a rainy town in the mud. One of my favorite songs ever—the gold is in the lyrics. “When I first came to town / they call’ me the roving jewel / Now they’ve changed their tune / call me Katie Cruel.”
Carol – “Castle”
A haunting and loving lullaby. These songs will make you cry.
Perfume Genius – “Describe”
This single has been on repeat in the car since it came out. The cross between Perfume and Blake Mills’ production brings a soft and enlightening doom glow. Beautiful, beautiful.
Kasey Musgraves – “Space Cowboy”
Best pop country on the table right now. I mean, yo—the whole album is just perfect.
Kamikaze Palm Tree – “Sharpie Smile”
Incredibly arranged, incredibly performed, and all the wacky panning serves the song beautifully.
Baby Keem – “INVENTED IT”
Feel like he’s poised to be a paramount voice in rap for the next decade.
Low End Activist – “Park End ft. Trim”
There’s a struggle bar about having a hard time booking shows, but somehow it comes off as bravado. Love.
Lorenzo Senni and DJ Stingray – “XAllegroX (DJ Stingray’s Molto Allegro Mix)”
~ DJ Stingray Now + Forever ~
Kim Gordon – “Sketch Artist”
Listened to this album for the first time after being fired and it helped me reclaim power.
Powell Tillmans – “Feel the Night”
There’s something really isolating and oppressive about the relentless pulse in this song that seems to always help me look inward…
Colleen – “Summer night (Bat song)”
I love the directness of Colleen’s compositions. The melody while she sings “swoop swoop swoop swoop swoop” brings a cry to my throat.
Colin Stetson – “Reborn”
Love how ecstatically all of the parts move through this piece…It’s like primal scream.
Fiera – “Grönö”
There is an intangible energy to this song that keeps me coming back to it. One of the weirdest and most specific things I’ve heard.
Youbet – “Volcano”
I’ve listened to this album every day for the past week. There is a depth in [the] vagueness, where it feels like new emotional layers get uncovered with each listen.
Fantasy – “Fantasy of a Broken Heart”
Brennan Wedl – “Traveler”
This is the type of song that immediately has memories associated with it even before you’ve built up new memories alongside it.