Straight-up indie bliss from New York’s hottest new talents
New York city hasn’t ever been short of defining albums. They’ve arrived in all shapes and sizes, with the Big Apple’s roll call of talent including, to name a few, The Velvet Underground, Ramones, Nas, Blondie and The Strokes. Each of those acts’ defining albums realise the city in their own special way, slotting succinctly into New York’s unrivalled canon of records. On a stunning debut album, QTY may have just thrown their hat into the same ring.
For those uninitiated: QTY are New York City-based duo Dan Lardner and Alex Niemetz. The pair gigged extensively in the band Grand Rapids, but it was when they stepped out on their own that things started to happen. Support slots built their reputation as one of NYC’s most exciting new prospects, and landed them a record deal with Dirty Hit (The 1975, Wolf Alice, Pale Waves) late last year.
Now, they’ve boiled down that toil into a breathless 10-track, 31-minute album – produced by Suede guitarist Bernard Butler – that reeks of their home city’s legacy. Take opener ‘Rodeo’, a riff-stuffed storm that could slot in on The Strokes’ immortal debut album ‘Is This It’, and the sludgy ‘Living Things’, which follows in the footsteps of post-punk icons Television.
For all their confidence, the pair excel when turning inwards, reflecting on the human relations that make up modern urban life. This is most obvious on ‘Michael’, where Lardner’s reflections on his childhood strike a solemn note – “They clipped my wings/And the wind felt different since/And ever since I’ve been upset” – and on the minimal ‘New Beginnings’, where Niemetz declares, “Thank God for new beginnings/I want to be alive”.
Things come to a head on closer ‘Salvation’, a dazzling finale that stands tall alongside Manhattan’s skyscrapers. Everything pushed to the limit, it becomes abundantly clear they’ve made an album that sounds as at home on the dust-stained subway as it does at the peak of the Empire State Building.
Release Date: 8 December, 2017