Slothrust — the duo composed of principal songwriter, guitar player, and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum and drummer Will Gorin — announce their forthcoming EP entitled I Promise, out October 20.
“I love secrets hidden in plain sight,” says Slothrust
The new EP I Promise is centered around a sly, thunderous take on the 90s R&B freakytime classic Ginuwine’s “Pony” and two new singles “Maybe Maybe” and “Magic Glow.” The band’s rendition of “Pony” is out today alongside the EP’s announcement and an accompanying music video.
With “Pony,” Wellbaum and Gorin take Timbaland’s iconic beat and Ginuwine’s carnal a cappella and build a whole new world around the original’s three powerhouse chords and effervescent low end. Slothrust’s version swings like a lithe slice of sludgy rock ‘n’ roll and is a revelatory venn diagram of best ‘90s nostalgia and forward-looking celebration of the now.
“I feel like we have developed our own unique sound to the point where we can ask ourselves ‘what would Slothrust do?’” says Gorin. “The paradox being that if we knew, Slothrust would do the opposite.”
The two new originals, “Maybe Maybe” and “Magic Glow,” which feature Gorin on drums and bass for the first time, are anchored by Welbaum’s manic guitar melodies and meaty hooks. Slothrust’s subversive pop instincts shine with lyrical nods to liminal spaces, ceremonial magick, and ecosexuality.
“Will and I have been playing different genres of music in different configurations together for almost 15 years now and that is a big part of our lock,” says Wellbaum. “We know how to work with each other in a variety of different settings and how to communicate outside of what we do specifically. That offers us tremendous freedom.”
Speaking of freedom, a prickly instrumental performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” recasts the Wizard of Oz standard as raw off-Broadway punk, but it’s the extended version of “Pony” that snaps necks. Clocking in at fourteen-plus minutes, Slothrust dives straight off the deep end with seared guitar solos and pulse-quickening drum patterns that pay homage to the original while showcasing the pair’s strengths as groove-locked explorers at the peak of their powers.
“It’s always fun to leave space in the music where improvisation is possible,” explains Wellbaum, “and that is part of what is so exciting to us about the extended version of ‘Pony’; it’s entirely improvised, and we only did one performance of it in the studio.”
Slothrust announced themselves as rewarding and fearless interpreters with their 2016 EP, Show Me How You Want It to Be. Tackling material as diverse and unexpected as their libidinous romp thru Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” and a grungy, sand-blasted rethink of Marcy Playground (“Sex and Candy”), their version of The Turtles “Happy Together” was a revelation that flipped that song’s famously delusional narrative voice and breezy pop sound into a roaring articulation of objectified rage.
Stay tuned for the full-length I Promise EP, out October 20.