As the main artistic force behind eclectic rock outfit Emanuel and the Fear, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Emanuel Ayvas has already established himself as a bold and boundless artist. Naturally, he always aims to work with equally vivacious creative forces, which is why he and guitarist Kevin Plessner (Oceanographer / Monuments) recently formed Pale Ramon, a Brooklyn-based rock duo whose name derives from Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Idea of Order at Key West”. Next month, they’ll release their eponymous debut LP, and if their newest single, “Beat Punk”, is any indication, it’ll be a highlight of each member’s respective career.
Ayvas and Plessner first met at a New York bar called Larry Lawrence in 2015, and it didn’t take long for them to start working together on a weekly basis. In fact, they’d written a full album in about a month and decided to bring in some friends (Grant Zubritsky, David Lizmi, and Justin Hoffman) to work out the music live in preparation for a studio sequence. This process proved so successful that the band now commits to releasing each collection as a live video concert before putting it out as a proper audio release. (In this case, Pale Ramon was performed in its entirety on 22 May 2018 and posted to YouTube the following November.)
As for “Beat Punk” itself, Plessner aptly calls it a “melt your face rock song”, adding, “It’s a response to everyone who says, ‘They’re just tweets, don’t take [Trump] literally’ and ‘That’s just how he talks’. It is an expression of anger and fury at political distortion. It is about demanding civility and truth.” Ayvas concurs while also clarifying that he and Plessner are trying to be “objective” with their social commentary. “In this song, we’re more in the narrator’s seat, looking at things playing out and describing the two sides of big emotions going on in the country than preaching from a particular sideline,” he notes.
The track immediately catches your attention with its distorted guitar riffs, motorik beat (which Plessner says “feels like speeding down a highway at 90 MPH”), and punchy bass lines. Of course, Ayvas trademark tenor and critical tone shine as well, belting out observations such as “You got what you had coming / You got what you asked for / Now you got what you wanted / And I’m just sitting here laughing” with hip fervor. Purposefully less elaborate and artsy than his work with EatF, the song excels at capturing unrestrained, almost animalistic aggression in a highly melodic, hooky, and diplomatically conscious way.
Take a listen to “Beat Punk” below and let us know what you think. Also, be sure to check out the entirety of Pale Ramon when it arrives on 24 May.