There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
STANDOUT TRACK: No. 1, “A to Z,” which combines the rhythmic thrust of a New Order track with the motivational power of a Tony Robbins seminar. “Freedom from rules/Freedom from constraint/Freedom to create/Anything you make,” sings vocalist Alison Russell over an airy guitar melody and a thumping Peter Hookninspired bass line. Gauzy, reverb-laden production, courtesy of TV on the Radio’s David Andrew Sitek, bolsters the Factory Records vibe.
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: In a word, freedom. Guitarist Brian Clancy was on vacation in the Bahamas when he wrote the music for the song. “I was on the island of Eleuthera, which translates as ‘freedom,’ ” he says. Astonishingly, Russell didn’t know this when she wrote the lyrics, but she still tapped into the easy-rolling vibe. “She’s kind of about the ‘no rules/no authority’ thing anyway,” says Clancy. “Some of her lyrics—maybe you could stick over a crusty punk song, and they wouldn’t sound totally out of place.”
DAWN OF BAND: Dawn of Man followed a time-honored route to bandhood: They played covers. Over the past several years, Clancy and his friends have appeared in some of the most memorable acts to be featured in the Black Cat’s annual Run for Cover night, including the Hall & Oates tribute Just Oates and a M?ñtley Crüe satire, M?ñtley Tü. “We had so much fun doing M?ñtley Tü that we decided to keep going as our own band,” says Clancy. (Dawn of Man will play a release party at the Black Cat on April 5.) “We’re just a group of good friends trying to have a good time and trying to play good music.”