James Brooks, formerly one half of Elite Gymnastics (who we profiled in print in 2011), has returned, sans-label, under the moniker Dead Girlfriends. In a post on his Tumblr of the same name, where he’s done some good, “long and unpleasant” writing in the time between releases, Brooks explains the new alias this way:
“it’s how andrea dworkin measures how much progress women have made in society – by counting the number of dead girlfriends”
that explanation will probably make most people feel even more unpleasant than the name but that’s how living in the patriarchy makes me feel every day
The new EP, called Stop Pretending, is four songs, and features James Brooksian, Auto-Tuned lyrics like fuck that fuck them fuck you ugh fuck my life—clearer in the mix than Elite Gymnastics’ vocals were. There’s an instrumental song, “Omertá,” and the title track, “Stop Pretending,” whose Avalanches-evoking first 15 seconds are probably the sharpest thing he’s ever produced. (The EP’s cover art features an illustration by Brooks’ girlfriend, Claire Boucher aka Grimes.) Download below, for $8 Canadian, to unleash and confront all manner of upsetting feelings. Listening this first time, I literally feel like I just swallowed gravel.