Throws, “Punch Drunk Sober”

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Throws, s/t

Throws is a new project from Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders, who worked together in the English experimental folk-electronic group Tunng. With ten years having passed since their last record together, Lindsay and Genders decided to revive their collaboration and make a record in Reykjavik, where Lindsay lived for four years, and according to Lindsay “the whole month became a cathartic party.” Throws’ debut LP was born with help from members of Iceland’s múm and Sigur Rós, and it’s due out this June. It seems fitting that the two would turn their attention to making superpowered pop music to welcome their reunion and their time in Iceland, a place that Genders says “will always leave you feeling powerful and refreshed.”

Last month Throws released “The Harbour”, an energetic but darkly introspective synth-heavy burner. Now they’re sharing “Punch Drunk Sober”, which is even more danceable than the last single but by no means less emotionally or critically invested. Genders calls the song “a strange subverted pop song about being strong and having boundaries and saying enough is enough in a relationship. That might mean leaving or it might mean standing your ground.” He and Lindsay sing in unison to eerie, stunning effect over waves of white noise and a mesh of colorfully keyed chords, narrating an internal struggle to reconcile love and personal needs. Internal, but hardly calm: if the intent was to startle, they’ve definitely achieved their goal. There’s an exhilarating and terrifying scream after the confession, “I’m never gonna find a lover quite like you,” and then the drums kick up a notch. A choir of haunting angelic voices makes its way in before the chorus’s final round, which brims with something like heartbreak—but in the overflow there’s a feeling of liberation, of finally pushing forward.

Throws’ self-titled debut will be out June 10 on Thrill Jockey.