photo credit: Eman El Saied
“With the band citing everyone from Suburban Lawns to Prince as influences, the new track is a whirlwind of sounds and ideas perfectly tuned to this moment of uncertainty.” – Flood Magazine
Washington, D.C.-based Bottle Up will release their debut album Crystal on October 16 via Maximum Pelt Records (pre-order).
Today the band revealed the first single “Kilo” from the forthcoming release. The song premiered today at Flood Magazine
and will be available this Friday on all streaming platforms
. “Kilo” is a jerky, punky, surfy affair, like what Devo might sound like if they were booked a gig at the beach. It’s hot, moody, and angular, like all of the ways you might feel when you’ve got to hide some of yourself in front of those you love (or don’t). True to the band’s name, it’s carefully-contained, chaotically-deployed chaos. It’s violent energy, bottled up at the source. About the song the band’s Nikhil Rao says, “‘Kilo’ is about the masks we wear to blend in with the rest of the world, and the inner struggle we endure to hide our emotions as they bubble to the surface.”
Jangly and glamorous, Bottled Up’s freaked-up art pop is a smoothie of frontman Nikhil Rao’s key obsessions: Suburban Lawns, italo disco, Alan Vega, Television (the band), television (the appliance), Andy Warhol, the entire decade of the ‘80s, Prince’s particular shade of plum purple, his old Tascam 8-track, Factory Records.
Indian-American by way of Oakland and Los Angeles, Rao’s the dude-who’s-seen-it-all meets dude-about-town. A sound designer and audio engineer by trade – professionally schooled in the art of video game scoring- Rao’s a man informed first by the sort of his journeying one’s got to do when faced with the darknesses of addiction and a twisty adolescence in and out of religious cults. For all of its gleaming guitars and glossy euro-flavored synthwork, Bottled Up’s filled with the mental residue one gets after asking the void to fuck off.
Co-led with Colin Kelly – a disciple of D.C.’s avant-analog scene – joined by Michael Mastrangelo and Beth Cannon on dueling guitars, and supplanted by Rao’s wunderkid brother, Rohit, on acid-jazz-does-punk drums, Bottled Up conjures the sort of psycho-potpurri-spirit that’s only given to the sort of band that’s able to conjure a vision of the things they love, the mountains they’ve overcome, and mutate it all into something you can dance to.