October 26, 2016

EP: Gender Work - Summer Broke 2k16

Summer may be over but the vibes of a 
mental vacation are well-preserved by Gender Work.

Gender is work. Hard work. Anyone in touch with their own gender identity (or even not so in touch) can tell you that. It’s a confusing and difficult thing, never quite tangible but always present. The same thing goes for being broke. You don’t need a New Yorker article to tell you that the crushing weight of insufficient funds is a huge cause of stress on one’s mental health. All that in mind, it’s easy to see how necessary it can be for someone to take a break from all that stress. And what – the newest EP from Philly’s Gender Work seems to ask – is a better way to relax than to listen to some nice, synth-y loops?

The repetitive nature of looping and layering sounds is inherently relaxing, as they have the ability to put the mind at ease. Loops are what make up the majority of the four brief songs on Gender Work's summer broke 2k16 EP. There are loops that twitter and loops that loom, while the synths and lo-fi drum patterns explore a wide variety of emotion even within their simple framework. “Side Street” sounds like something you could imagine Dean Blunt mumbling over whereas “He Likes Poetry” and “2 Sploopy” take a more whimsical and almost 8-bit approach. Nowhere throughout the EP is there anything flashy or braggadocio about the production. Instead, the four tidbits take the approach of slow psychedelic burners, hitting their mark on the “chill” aesthetic as beach-y and dreamy as the vintage photo on the cover. Summer may be over, but the vibes of a mental vacation are well-preserved by Gender Work, neatly packaged and ready to be played again and again and again.


Listen to Gender Work on bandcamp.

Elijah Fosl is a freelance music and culture writer who's really bad at describing themselves. They hail from Louisville but live in Chicago where they work, ferociously devouring cassette tapes and local produce. Find them on Twitter at @elifosl or online at elifosl.com.