Collapsing Scenery release new single + video ‘The Right To Life’

Collapsing Scenery press photo
Photo credit: Kate Bowman

Brooklyn / LA synthwave duo Collapsing Scenery have shared The Right To Life, the band’s latest single and it’s accompanying video directed by Alexandra Cabral. The song is the latest track to be released from their new album ‘A Desert Called Peace’ out March 10 (pre-order). “The Right To Life” is available now on all streaming platforms for any playlist shares. On the song the band’s Reggie Debris says: “‘The Right to Life’ was written after a couple years of observing various unhinged responses to the pandemic and its societal impact, in particular an essay by RR Reno which contemptuously accused the liberal left of being consumed by a pathetic, Godless fear of death, manifested in support for lockdowns, social distancing and masks. This argument (screed, really) was all the more head-spinning coming from a conservative Catholic, who otherwise drones on endlessly about fostering a ‘culture of life.’ To quote another Catholic, the great GK Chesterton, ‘When a man believes that any stick will do, he at once picks up a boomerang.’

The lyric attempts to address the various, obvious hypocrisies of the ‘culture of life’ crowd, and the ways in which its critique of our supposedly atomized, alienated, secular culture was undercut by its radical, nihilistic individualism when asked to make some concrete sacrifices for the common good.”

Last month, Collapsing Scenery released Gold Rush, the first single lifted from ‘A Desert Called Peace’. The song is available on all streaming platforms. On the song the band says, “‘Gold Rush’ approaches the climate and biodiversity crises with gimlet eyed nihilism. It’s a cri de coeur of apocalyptic joy, borne of hopelessness.” ‘A Desert Called Peace’ follows the band’s acclaimed album ‘Stress Positions’ and the ‘Acid Casual’ EP which was released last year. The forthcoming album is a collection of songs written and recorded over the last three deeply strange and unsettled years. The songs encompass crises both global and personal. The title of the album is adapted from Tacitus’ account of the possibly apocryphal Caledonian chieftain Calgacus and his legendary critique of Roman conquest: To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire, and where they make a desert, they call it peace.

The album features appearances from Avalon, L’espiral, RugiRugz, and the reggae legend Tippa Lee. Its sound encompasses dancehall, techno, post-punk, brit-pop, darkwave, industrial, free jazz and funk/soul.

The lyrics address topics ranging from Catholic integralism and the so-called ‘New Right’, to the strange interregnum between the death of one era and the birth of the next, to the ways in which our technologies mold us. 

Collapsing Scenery is the meeting of two fertile and febrile minds, Don De Vore (Ink & Dagger, Lilys, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby) and Reggie Debris. Collapsing Scenery straddles the gaps between music, art, film and politics, seamlessly moving between each with the same ease at which they traverse the globe, soaking up experiences and immersing themselves in different cultures. Since they formed in 2013 “under a pall of paranoia and disgust” they haven’t stopped moving. Recent collaborations include Jamaican dancehall legend Ninjaman, Beastie Boys producer/collaborator Money Mark, and no-wave pioneer James Chance. The band also has remixes out or on the way from Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle), Jennifer Herrema (Royal Trux), Uniform, Youth Code, Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance) and more.

Collapsing Scenery’s inception can be traced back several years when New York-based artist/musician Don De Vore and musician friend and LA resident Reggie Debris collaborated in programming events with D’agostino and Fiore gallery on the Lower East Side, beginning with a video installation which lead to a month of music and visual programming called ‘Rebuild Babylon’ which in turn evolved into a traveling residency series.

While some bands claim to be exponents of the DIY ethic, Collapsing Scenery are entirely self-sufficient, operating outside of traditional avenues. “We’ve tried to mostly play in spaces outside of the usual club circuits,” says Debris. “We generally play in basements, warehouses, garages, parks, galleries, living rooms – and traveling with our own sound-system, power supply and visuals has enabled that. We’re 100% self-contained.”

Collapsing Scenery offers a new vision for how a modern band can be. They’re not even a band – they’re curators of a series of planet-spanning events, expressions, exhibitions, albums, installations, journeys, adventures and parties, all operating outside of the confines of the tired traditional industry.

A Desert Called Peace’ track list 

1. The Right To Life 
2. Morbid Symptoms 
3. Homepage Carnage 
4. The Hammer Changes The Hand 
5. The Wreck Of Rexists 
6. Targets 
7. Hue And Cry 
8. Colony Collapse 
9. Salacia Surveys The Incinerated City 

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