By Cynthia Gross
On June 28, Los Angeles-based shoegaze project Gloomer released their debut single, “Drumjoy,” a brilliant experimental track that explores the grips of a fraying relationship one cannot seem to escape although it is no longer working.
“This song was originally 5 or 6 minutes long with way more different parts and sections, which I eventually edited down quite a bit,” explained Elliott Kozel, the mastermind behind Gloomer. “It’s about boredom and jealousy in a long-term relationship.”
“Drumjoy” is an electronic, rhythm-driven composition that revels in its mood more than its words. The occasional washed-out lyrics – which are paired with high-octane BPMs, a groovy bass line, and fuzz guitars – offer a window into the impending implosion of the relationship: “In the kitchen / When you kissed him / And I listened / In the airport / I was there for it / I was there for it / I’m prepared for it.”
The accompanying music video for “Drumjoy” begins with a strobe warning, and it lives up to its promise with manic, dissonant image flashes that draw inspiration from early 90s cartoons like the Brothers Grunt, Beavis and Butthead, and Ren and Stimpy, as well as Pauly Shore films. The video was a collaboration between Kozel and animator Joon Voigt (Everything Everywhere All at Once) who together animated more than 2,000 drawing and collage pieces by hand.
To an impressive and mesmerizing effect, “Drumjoy” makes use of juxtaposition: gloomy and vibrant, discordant and structured, lethargic and unhinged. The blur of elements mirrors the emotional complexity of intimate relationships, and like a brewing storm, the song itself provides a means to unleash pent up sexual energy and frustration.
Although “Drumjoy” represents the arrival of Gloomer, Elliott Kozel is no stranger to the music scene. He is well known for his production work with an eclectic lineup of artists, including Jean Dawson, Corbin (FKA Spooky Black), Velvet Negroni (4AD), and Yves Tumor.
“My goal was, primarily, to make music for myself again, after many years of producing for other people,” he noted. “Secondly, I wanted to create a mixture of styles and genres that hadn’t been heard before. Drum and bass mixed with My Bloody Valentine was sort of the guiding light of the project, but I also wanted every song to have surprising twists and turns.”
If “Drumjoy” is any indication, Gloomer’s forthcoming releases are not to be missed, so stay tuned. Go see Gloomer at their live debut on Aug. 12 in Los Angeles at The Baader House. Check out the video for “Drumjoy” below, and find more new music on the Alchemical Multigenre Mixdown playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
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