November 8, 2016

Stream: Middle Part/Yaya/Lushloss/Sarah Snider Split

Stream an important collaboration between
Middle Part, Yaya, Lushloss, and Sarah Snider.

Last week, Modern Vinyl premiered "Teeth", a new song by Virginia's Middle Part. The empowering track is a contribution to a four-way split by Middle Part, Yaya, Lushloss, and Sarah Snider. They have joined forces to release an incredibly important piece of work that tackles a myriad of experiences and emotions from the East Asian-American perspective. 

Middle Part's second track "Green" is softer, less chaotic than "Teeth." The cryptic lullaby swells in and around itself; tugging and pulling at listener's heartstrings. The sonic juxtaposition between "Teeth" and "Green" establishes and sets the tone for the rest of the split. With different artists inevitability comes different sounds and styles, but this release somehow feels like a seamless body of work. None of the artists allow themselves to be confined to one thing in particular; if anything, their contributions show the many different personalities they can possess. Yaya's songs on the split are a good example of this as "Cigarette Smoke" and "Demon's Eye" were only written a year apart but contrast in obvious ways. "Demon's Eye" specifically demands immediate attention and feels like the sonic equivalent of a seance. Unapologetically, Lucky Liu, proclaims "mom, you wouldn't like the things I knew about my body / mom, there are dead people buried beneath the house / the ghosts watch me rise." As the split enters the world of Lushloss and Sarah Snider, the soundscapes become more abstract and atmospheric. Lushloss's "Rrrrrr" is complex and layered euphoria that leaves off where Sarah Snider's rattling and contemplative track "Good Luck" begins. Listen to the split below and purchase it from Pretty Records, a label founded and run by Snider, dedicated to releasing music made by not-dudes to combat the marginalization of these voices.

Judy Hong of Middle Part on the release:

"Lucky/Yaya lives at a show house called 3 moons and their work is amazing. A lot of the inspiration for this collaboration is honestly their mission statement, which you can find on their Facebook page. There's been a huge amount of pushback against spaces like this, but I try to make all that anger and frustration become a motivator for me. That's on a more systemic level though. Personally, I just wanted a space where I could fully be myself with room to make mistakes and be real and silly with friends. It's really hard to turn that energy into a tangible thing, but when lucky suggested that middle part and them do a split album together, I thought: oh my god, that would be amazing. We're gonna get compared to Japanese Breakfast and Mitski (and get all that accompanying racist sexist shit), but whatever. Let's take it to the next level. We brought in Lushloss and Sarah Snider, which I think rounds out the album in a nice way. We're all very different people and our music comes from different places, but we vibe, you know? I think that's pretty magical.

I also read about Prince making InStyle magazine hire a black woman to interview him in 2000 cause they didn't fucking have any black women writers on staff, like damn, that's real. Obviously none of us are prince, but DIY music and art scenes give us the infrastructure and history to empower ourselves. we also have this amazing ability to renew it and live it how we want to/can – to recognize the spaces we take up physically, emotionally, societally, and more.

TL;DR version is that I like listening to our songs and feeling like we're hanging out and we're safe."


Album artwork by Noelle Choy
Photo by Rachel Kim-Johnstone

Listen to the four-way split at Pretty Records.

Written by Diana Cirullo