Montreal singer-songwriter and Official Artist of SXSW 2022, Gus Englehorn is set to release his second album Dungeon Master on April 29 via Secret City Records.
It’s easily the cutest, heaviest and weirdest rock ‘n’ roll record you’ll hear this year – perhaps best demonstrated by today’s chapped and pleading single + video, “Exercise Your Demons”. Beginning with Englehorn pleading, “Hit me, I want you to hit me”, from there it explodes into a headlong path to salvation anchored by the creaking guitar and drums of Englehorn and his partner Estée Preda. .
“This one is partly inspired by David Lynch’s ‘Blue Velvet,’ especially the scene where Dorothy asks Jeffrey to hit her,” Englehorn said. “It’s about how we often turn to destructive behavior to try to feel better when all you really need to do is get some exercise.” It follows a pair of equally wacky and offbeat singles “The Gate” and “Tarantula”. Fans can expect to hear them and more on Englehorn’s current US tour, with tickets and dates available here.
The video, directed by Prada, shows Englehorn maniacally prosthetizing on a floodlit stage in front of an increasingly receptive and rowdy crowd. In the end, all hell breaks loose as everyone joins in and follows the gospel of Englehorn to, well, wield their demons.
Dungeon Master, Englehorn’s debut album on Secret City Records, is an underdog opus that sparkles with Dada spirit – a playful juxtaposition of isolation, alienation and mild OCD. Surprising, paranoid and peppered with synths and strings, Dungeon Master is deeper than a cellar and more brutal than a club – a chilling introduction to a finally arrived artist.
“I let my subconscious drive,” Gus admits, and listening to these 10 tracks, it’s hard not to do the same thing: sit like a dog daydreaming on two legs; like a fisherwoman with her net; like a snowboarder with a mouth full of powder.
Despite a career as a professional snowboarder, for most of his life – from the Big Island sunsets to the snowy slopes of Utah – he dreamed of being a songwriter. If he couldn’t be Dylan, he might be Daniel Johnston, or Frank Black and The Pixies, or maybe Darby Crash and The Germs. And when he finally emerged – first on Death & Transfiguration in 2020 and now here on the 34-year-old label’s debut – he had found a dark and delicious sound, fun and demented, filled with dynamics and the breath of a hysterical guitar. .
Watch the new music video here:
March 9 – New Colossus Festival, New York, NY
March 10 – Collision @ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (with Godcaster)
March 11 – Casa Nueva @ Athens, OH (with Godcaster)
March 12 – Whirling Tiger @ Louiseville, KY (with Godcaster)
March 14 – Rubber Gloves @ Denton, TX (with Godcaster)
SXSW – Austin, TX
March 16 – Far Out Lounge (Get Wit It! presents South Side Psych Out)
March 17 – Hotel Vegas (Anniversary Showcase x Fire Records)
March 18 – Yellow Jacket Club (group birthday party)
March 18 – Hotel Vegas (space agency showcase)