Brooklyn’s art-punksters Gustaf have been causing quite a stir in their native New York since forming in 2018. The five-piece released their first single “Mine” in October 2020 and swiftly followed up with second single “Design” in December. This has already made the BBC 6Music playlist which highlights the buzz around the band and only yesterday the band were announced as Steve Lamacq’s “Spotlight Artist of the Week” on his BBC 6 Radio show.
Gustaf are Lydia Gammill (vocals), Tine Hill (bass), Melissa Lucciola (drums), Vram Kherlopian (guitar and vocals) and Tarra Thiessen (vocals and percussion).
“Design” is a groovy track with a driving bassline but with that angular edge you would expect from a band described as art-punksters. Unlike a lot of the current post-punk bands, the funky rhythm is maintained with that bassline all the way through the track. Perfect for the dancefloors – remember them?
The lyrics get their inspiration from the behaviour of others who may seek to position themselves above you, who critique you in order to achieve their goals. As lead-singer Lydia Gammill explains
“Desire can lead us astray. In trying to reach for something, we may not realize that we are stepping on other people and the people who are being stepped on may not realize that they are just getting used to being stepped on.”
Sadly it’s a common human trait, selfishly looking to advance to the detriment of others. The commentary here is on systemic oppression and how we can all fall into following oppressive patterns, thus profiting but at the expense of harming others. Whilst this may all sound a bit heavy subject-wise, believe me that killer bassline is going to put a smile on your face and a groove in your step.
“Design” is out now on Royal Mountain Records. Listen to the track and watch the official video here now.
Words by JULIA MASON