Ekko Astral - Pink Balloons (Blue) [Colored Vinyl] (Pnk) (Post) [Download Included] | RECORD STORE DAY
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Limited blue and pink colored vinyl LP pressing. Includes poster and digital download. The debut longplayer from Washington, DC-based Ekko Astral is a complex mesh of bubblegum noise punk and no-wave art rock that holds an elastic space for the knotty, tangled horrors of living in the imperial core. Their songs thrash with intense, necessary defiance against codified gender-based violence, their distortion and sibilance a direct response to the dangers outside our front doors. Pink balloons opener "head empty blues" specifically bites back against the terrors of the normative male gaze that dominates so much of American culture. Over a post-punk passage that plays call and response with a wall of harsh noise, frontwoman Jael Holzman belts playfully morbid details of the head-exploding anxieties that haunt her daily: "is it bon eye-ver or bon iver? / i don't care / i've got stalkers outside / not going out tonight / gonna sit and take pics / in my underwear." Holzman formed the band in 2021 with best friend Liam Hughes (guitar), and eventually rounded out the band's lineup with Miri Tyler (drums), Guinevere Tully (bass), and Sam Elmore (guitar). Ekko Astral's local scene quickly welcomed the band for their wildly fierce live presence, emboldened by the community-building message behind the band's mascara mosh pit brand. Ultimately, Ekko Astral are here to uplift, a mission exemplified by the frenetic and bewitching pre-release singles "baethoven" and "devorah," cornerstones of pink balloons in both style and theme. The former serves as a reminder to keep your larger than life personality in a world that wants to downsize you, where the latter proclaims urgent solidarity with missing and murdered people. Such crucial messages of upliftment are the foundation of pink balloons, and, by extension Ekko Astral, whose thrashing debut leaves no stone of solidarity unturned.