Draag Unleashes the Dissonant Doom of 'Demonbird'

Draag Unleashes the Dissonant Doom of 'Demonbird'

Within the plush guitar tones and sleepless static of shoegaze comes a world of experimentation. Los Angeles-based ensemble Draag wants to meet somewhere in the margins, manipulating the genre to its limits. Through their surreal, chilling visuals that reach into the taboos of religion, corruption and fear, Draag brings a macabre twist to shoegaze without losing sight of its pioneers such as My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.

Their unique sound comes from the grab bag of backgrounds and influences each member has, with Draag beginning as the solo project of Adrian Acosta, a trained mariachi singer. As he recruited members from the worlds of punk to no wave to jazz, the band took shape into the immersive electro-shoegaze outfit taking the DIY scene by storm.

Today, they share their latest single “Demonbird” off their forthcoming album, Dark Fire Heresy, out April 28. The band immediately launches into a dissonant wall of sound, reminiscent of the lightheadedness of space rock infused with the band’s punk and jazz leanings. Stunning harmonies are layered over unflinching guitar riffs and detached samples that are hard to place as Draag's sonic collage begins to tear apart and reconstruct itself in an infinite loop. In the accompanying Tyler Bradberry-directed video shot at LIMINAL Space, frontwoman Jessica Huang uncovers corruption within a Christian cult, taking shape as she slowly meets her chilling demise while she sings "Get on the cross/ Watch it’s lost/ Heaven across."

The single follows "Mitsuwa," the band's first taste of their forthcoming album in which Huang reflects on a similar theme of religious trauma and taboos from a period of reflection spurred by the isolation of the pandemic. Alongside her bandmates, Huang's slow reconstruction of the abuse of her past builds Draag's bright future as a necessary outlet and fantasy world for her to process her experiences.

Below, watch the PAPER premiere for “Demonbird” by Draag and preorder Dark Fire Heresy ahead of its April 28 release here.

Photo courtesy of Devonte Johnson


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