Nuanced Wisdom Flows From Via Intercom’s New LP, Flex, Release

Originally appeared on Grimy Goods.

The wisdom that emanates from Brooklyn’s Via Intercom may teach you something about yourself and the society we live in. The duo, comprised of Maggie Colgan and Stevie Jick, debuted their project two years ago with an ambitious 14-track concept record called Buzz Buzz Buzz Vertigo, which explored childhood and budding queerness. Jick has worked with music most of his life while Colgan claims to be more of a micro-fiction author, deferring to Jick’s sense of melody and rhythm. As a team, they explore delicate ideas with great force.

Read more. Find an excerpt from the interview below.

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The title track on Flex, Release feels very personally significant. Can you talk about that song a little bit?

MAGGIE: It was a good indication of what we were saying with the whole album. A flex and a release is a push and a pull. There’s an amount of tension that’s happening there. But then there’s also context: if you’re flexing for another person, there’s some showiness, but if you’re flexing by yourself when there’s no one else around, that’s different.

STEVIE: Also the words themselves. ‘Flex’ has this macho element, and ‘release’ has more of a gentle and emotional connotation. And on an even less analytical level, it just came to us. We were actually walking around the same spot where we named the last record.

Is there an intentional political aspect? Not necessarily about the queer elements, but because of the mention of “blue bonnets” in “The Mill.” I found out through a quick search that “blue bonnets” were apparently Scottish laborers.

MAGGIE: Wow, I didn’t know that. That’s really interesting, I was thinking more like blue collar workers.

STEVIE: I did not know the specifics of that either. That was an image-driven song. We had a lot of these mental vignettes, and it took a long time for them to all come together. Maybe that’s somewhere in the depths of [Maggie’s] mind.

MAGGIE: Totally. I wonder about how my ideas and the images that come to my head are based in a cultural imagination, though probably not as literally as this story turned out to be. Maybe as part of some more rural image of men working elsewhere than the US.

Flex, Release by Via Intercom

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