Growing on Their New Single, “Camera ’84,” Their New Record, PUMPS!, and Their New Member, IUD’s Sadie Laska


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Brooklyn bliss brokers Growing have fully grown into their rhythmic stutter-creep on their seventh album, PUMPS!, taking their sound to new cinematic heights. From the band’s early days as a meditative quasi-metal drone duo to their early experiments in beat-centric slice-‘n’-dice, Growing have only had one objective–to envelop the listener in an abrasive-yet-cozy sound world. PUMPS! (due April 6) is their first album for Vice Records and first with new third member Sadie Laska of IUD. It’s the group’s brashest and busiest in years, mixing a colorful panoply of sound that is at one dance music, sound collage and graceful noise. Errant skips are tweaked to do the work of drum machines, random things sputter in epileptic disharmony, and inhuman voices hiccup and burp in the ether–an uneasy spiral somewhere between microhouse and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You can get a real feel for the increasing complexity of Growing’s new compositions by hearing the short PUMPS! burst “Camera ’84.” Once the beat kicks in it’s like a whisper of krautrock, the dizzy slurps of Black Dice’s Repo, a sexy Italo disco record, and at least one mystery sample, all playing at a harrowing 84 bpm (though it feels more like 168).

Download: Growing, “Camera ’84”

Growing on “Camera ’84”

How did “Camera ’84” come about?

Joe DeNardo: Sadie made the lyrics. I think it’s kind of “out there”
Kevin Doria: I was having a hard time at first making a beat that complimented the guitar, so I started working in double-time. After I got the beat written, I started messing around with my sampler and filled a textural void in the beat that I could easily bring in and out. I really wanted to make a driving beat for it because the guitar part is so nice and melodic. I thought maybe a harder faster beat would be a good companion but still have kind of a counterpoint. The sample is from a song that I love that is a major guilty pleasure. I really like using samples from songs like that because I can really get at the things that I like about them and use them in a totally different context.

Where did the title “Camera ’84” come from?

Doria: The bpm rate is 84–hence that part of the name. The camera part, I’m not sure.
DeNardo: I wanted to call a song “Camera” because I like the way the word rolls off the tongue.

What’s the best part about adding a third member to your lineup?

Doria: I really like having another voice. Joe and I have been playing together for close to 10 years, so it’s been really fun and exciting to have another person adding to the whole picture. It’s pushing me to write in ways that are new for me. I also feel a little more reckless and loose. It’s great.

How have your attitudes and intentions changed since you’ve fully embraced rhythms?

Doria: I don’t know if mine have. I still want to have the same effect on people, but I don’t want to be doing the same thing all the time. Ten years is long time to be making exactly the same thing, exactly the same way. We catch a lot of criticism for developing, but I think that’s more of a comment on music writers and armchair quarterbacks than it is on us.

What’s been the most memorable show you’ve ever played in New York?

DeNardo: They all sort of blur together. The last one in November at Market Hotel was nice.
Doria: Playing at Benjamin Cho’s fashion show a few years ago. It was the scariest show because my stuff always breaks at the worst times. I fully expected something to fail in the middle of the show.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

Doria: New Mexico Place on Graham Avenue.
DeNardo: Pies and Thighs, Carmines Original Italian Pizza, Leon’s Burger Hut, Roebling Tea Room–they’re all excellent.

Growing play Coco 66 on April 6.

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