KRISTEENYOUNG Premieres Theatric “<” Music Video
Dissonant pianos, tribal drums, a groovy bass line, and her trademark dramatic performance are the obvious and alluring traits of the lead single and video “<” (pronounced “Less Than”) off of avant-rock singer-songwriter/producer KRISTEENYOUNG’s ninth album THE SUBSET (set for release on September 4, 2019), the effect is even more heightened by claustrophobic backing vocals and screeching synths. Alternative music tome Post-Punk calls the track, “diabolically dissonant.”
Kristeen tells Post-Punk that “<” is about how certain people prefer the status quo, and how they view people as “lesser” and not equal to themselves: “This isn’t only a rich, ruling class situation,” she explains. “I used to experience it as kid in my working class neighborhood and from my foster parents. They don’t want you to be different from them and certainly not (what they see as) rising above.”
For the crashing sound in the choruses, she went all over St. Louis (her hometown and where she spent a month last summer writing a lot of The SubSet) looking for the perfect piano lid to slam down, making sure the sound was truly identifiable as what it is. Ultimately, the sound used was a combination of a grand piano from Smith-Lee recording studio in St. Louis and an old upright piano in the back room of a bar/coffee shop on Cherokee Street called Foam.
The accompanying video for “<” [OUT TODAY] depicts a full romantic, sexual, and obsessive relationship arc between Kristeen and a piano: “We meet, are attracted, have sex, the piano loses interest and starts looking at creatures that look more like itself [other pianos] online/on its phone,” Kristeen explains. “I try forcing the piano to give me attention (yelling at it, hitting it, I start dressing like what and who the piano is looking at online….try looking more like a piano), the piano has a baby/our baby [piano], I finally can’t take the loss of interest anymore and I set the piano on fire and jump in.”
With this ninth album, Kristeen invites listeners to come along on her most experimental and emotional journey yet. Her energetic blend of hard-hitting instrumentals, operatic vocals, and raw, incendiary lyrics gives her music a theatrical flair that helps elevate its urgency, which is showcased perfectly on The SubSet. “The album has a pretty wide scope of styles so I hope people can get lost in it and really have an experience.” Kristeen says. “When I was writing it I was trying to remember what it was like when I just LOVED music and had no knowledge of any other part of the music business or world. I wanted it to sound fresh and naturally moving, like when I was a kid, but at the same time speaking on the now.”
In conjunction with the album release, Kristeen will kick off a string of performance residencies this fall: in NYC (September 4th, 11th, and 18th at Berlin in the East Village), Los Angeles (every Monday this October at The Satellite), and San Francisco (October 9th, 16th, and 23rd at The DNA Lounge). She will also be heading overseas to London to play shows on November 6th (at Paper Dress Vintage), November 13th (at The Victoria), and November 20th (at St. Paneras Old Church).
The SubSet marks the first time that Kristeen has fully self-produced a record on her own. “I wrote, arranged, produced, mixed, and played almost every instrument except live drums, which were played by Jefferson ‘Baby Jef’ White,” explained Kristeen. “It was important to do this one by myself. Even though I have co-produced most of my albums before, people will still ‘forget’ to include my name when they are talking about who produced the albums. And I think it’s because the other co-producer was male and famous. I thought I would take that option of a mistake out of the equation for people.”
KRISTEENYOUNG SHOWS / RESIDENCIES
September 4 @ Berlin in NYC
September 11 @ Berlin in NYC
September 18 @ Berlin in NYC
September 26 @ Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis (in store)
September 27 @ Off Broadway in St. Louis, Missouri
October 7 @ The Satellite in Los Angeles
October 9 @ The DNA Lounge in San Francisco
October 14 @ The Satellite in Los Angeles
October 16 @ The DNA Lounge in San Francisco
October 17 @ Amoeba Records in San Francisco (in store)
October 21 @ The Satellite in Los Angeles
October 23 @ The DNA Lounge in San Francisco
October 28 @ The Satellite in Los Angeles
November 7 @ Paper Dress Vintage in London
November 13 @ The Victoria in London
November 20 @ St. Paneras Old Church in London
Kristeen started out in music with the goal of showing how powerful and dangerous a piano can be. This resulted in her 1997 debut album Meet Miss Young and Her All Boy Band. In the early 2000s she began working with Grammy award winning producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T.Rex, The Damned) starting with her 2003 record Breasticles, which featured a duet with the lateDavid Bowie himself, “Saviour“. On 2004’s X, the opening track “No Other God” was a duet withBrian Molko of Placebo. On her 2009 record Music For Strippers, Hookers, And The Odd Onlooker, she collaborated with Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy on the track “That’s What It Takes, Dear.” She also performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2014 withDave Grohl and Pat Smear of Foo Fighters fame as her backing band.
The SubSet will be released independently on September 4th, 2019. KRISTEENYOUNG is currently available for interviews.