Growth with no reward. Finding strength in your less desirable traits. Coming up with the perfect comeback hours later in bed, glaring at the ceiling. Asking yourself: am I improving, or am I just changing into something unrecognizable? Chicago quartet Ganser probe the futility of striving for self-growth during the chaos of our times for dark comedy and jagged sounds on their potent latest album, Just Look at That Sky, released July 31, 2020 on Felte.
Nadia Garofalo (keyboards/vocals) and Alicia Gaines (bass/vocals) met in art school, bonding over their shared love of The Residents, outsider communities, and transgressive filmmakers like John Waters and David Lynch. The hands-on, DIY craftsmanship honed in those years has carried over into a group that shares writing duties, collaborates closely on music videos and album art, and crafts Brechtian visuals to accompany their maximalist live show. Visceral gnashing guitar by Charlie Landsman and punching drums from Brian Cundiff make up the remaining parts of the No Wave, Art Rock and Post-Punk’s sound that is known as Ganser.
Equal parts Space Odyssey and Ghost World, Ganser released their debut LP Odd Talk in 2018 to favorable coverage from The New York Times, Billboard, and Stereogum. Building on their dissociative disorder namesake, the album’s tone vacillated between frenzied and contemplative, probing on questions of communication, intimacy, and avoidance.
On Just Look at That Sky, Ganser further explores the personal inner climate of uncertain times. Co-produced with Electrelane's Mia Clarke and engineer Brian Fox, this is an assured, fully realized triumph of a record from an art-punk band that’s figured out how to focus on making great art, even if everything else around them falls apart. The album drew critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, The Quietus, Sound Opinions, Bandcamp, Brooklyn Vegan, CLASH Magazine, and more.
The quartet is back now with a series of remixes. Their remix EP, Look at the Sun, will contain remixes from artists the band admires, has played with, or met online during quarantine and drops in full in the spring of 2021. Sadie Dupuis’ (Speedy Ortiz) transformative Sad13 remix of “Bad Form” follows December’s “Bags for Life” remixed by Andy Bell (Ride) under his dance moniker GLOK.