I walked into Digital Editor Chase Burns's apartment to both him and his boyfriend staring out their bedroom. He motioned me over without looking away from the scene that was unfolding on the roof of a building across the alleyway, "They've been doing this for 10 minutes." I looked out at what appeared to be a music video shoot. A bandmate wailed silently on an unplugged guitar. The videographer shot from crazy angles. A friend danced like he was listening to a groovy-hoedown country band. It was absolutely enthralling to watch.
The three of us recorded everything on our phones, frantically asking our social media audiences to identify the band in question. It seemed creepy to yell out the window and ask them outright, but sourcing out the question to our followers seemed fine. After 20 minutes of being glued to the bedroom window, the band went back into the building one by one. We finally yelled out, "What's your band's name!?" They shouted back: "Antonioni!"
It turns out Antonioni (like Michelangelo) was shooting the music video for their newest single "Stutter-Step," shot by Trevor Crump and directed by Kyle Todaro, and will be out sometime next month. "We had just watched a music video by the old Seattle band 7 Year Bitch, and were inspired by the way it captured the city, as well as the distorted angles and vibes," lead singer Sarah Pasillas tells me over email.
On Thursday, Antonioni will be dropping their sophomore EP, The Odds Were All Beating Me and hosting an album release show at Chop Suey at 8 pm. Pasillas says that the album represents a shift in sound for the band. "The guitars are larger, the vocals are more textured and layered. The percussion is huge and aggressive at times—soft and dreamy at others," says Pasillas. "I am most excited about the fact that this record portrays a more mature sound and approach. I hope people can vibe with the songs and connect with my lyrics."
Antonioni is what I imagined, as a millennial, the great local Seattle bands of the '90s sounded like, back when Seattle was Amazon-free and you could rent a room on the Hill for, like, $200 and a bag of magic beans or whatever. It's easy to picture the characters from 10 Things I Hate About You listening to them. The other single from The Odds Were All Beating Me, "Easy Listener," embodies all the great qualities of the band, giving us the best version of Northwest indie rock. It's all fuzzed out guitar chords, swayable rhythms, strong female vocals, and grungy, crushed velvet. Pasillas's voice has that Clinton-era-music sheen to it—whispery and quiet until it comes sailing in, loud, on a wave of sound, functioning as the craggy emotional center of the song.