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Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe
2477-2475 18th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20009
corey flood with Missing Earth and Julian
Sunday May 27, 2018
— Sometimes in a “right place, right time” sort of way, what could be a misstep ends up a saving grace. Such is the case for Philadelphia’s new dark-pop quartet Corey Flood. While Ivy Gray-Klein (bass/vocals) never really meant to be a lead singer (though she’s already known for playing bass in Littler), a last-minute lineup change before the band’s first gig pushed her in front of the mic. And after that, things fell into place. With Noah Jacobson-Carroll and Em Boltz on guitar and Juliette Rando on drums, Corey Flood was set.
The self-proclaimed “despondent rockers” keep it short and sweet on Wish You Hadn’t, their debut ...EP from Brooklyn’s Fire Talk Records. The four songs simmer with a quiet fury, Gray-Klein’s hushed vocals floating above the metronomic drums and minimal, atmospheric guitar. Corey Flood takes influences like Helium and early Liz Phair and pushes them in a gloomier, more post-punk direction. “There’s a horse head / in my bed,” Gray-Klein almost whispers on the last track, “Causeway.” “It’s so hard / to be your friend.” It’s this kind of disappointment that permeates the EP—but it seems almost cathartic, as though the brutal honesty will lead to a light at the end of the tunnel.
— Julian was formed in the summer of 2015, in a hot and sweaty living room in Washington, DC. The brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Julia Leiby, Julian’s early songs had a minimal twee-pop feel reminiscent of Beat Happening. But as the band grew and evolved over the last few years, so did their sound. Currently joined by Cale Cuellar (Tall Friend) on drums and Eric Zidar (Tosser) on bass, Leiby’s songs have moved in a hazier, more atmospheric direction on Julian’s latest release, the Real Distance EP.
Recorded at Gravesend Recordings in Brooklyn, the five songs are brief—only one of them breaks the two-minute mark—and freckled with twinkling guitar lines that bring The Sundays to mind. The whole EP plays like a softly-lit dream; there’s a muted urgency in each track, as though Leiby is fit to burst with earnest romanticism. But there’s self-awareness, too. On “S,” the darkest and most driving song of the bunch, Leiby almost chants a mantra: “Don’t touch me, / I own this body. / Stay away, / I’m not your prey. / I’m stronger than you think.” And it’s in that space between light and darkness, softness and force, that Julian’s songs find their charm.
Real Distance comes out in June on Fire Talk Records.