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Standout Track: No. 3, “The Body Unmade,” from Woodridge’s Tereu Tereu. The duo’s second album, Quadrants, is filled with 11 solid cuts competing for attention, but this song’s nervous, unhinged Middle-Eastern-music-meets-The–Fall vibe is an immediate gripper. “I’ve struggled with varying degrees of social anxiety and panic attacks since I was a kid,” says singer-guitarist Ryan Little (who is a contributing writer for Washington City Paper). “I wanted to capture some of that insane, irrational tension in a song.”
Musical Motivation: “Terror and confusion,” says Little, 29. “The imagery gets pretty wild, but the underlying [Beatles’] ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’-type groove holds it together.” That manic beat comes courtesy of Brendan Polmer, 28, the other full-time member of the band. “It’s one of the more fun songs for me to play,” he says. “I like to imagine myself as the drummer from LCD Soundsystem, just banging out 16th notes on the hi-hats like a madman. I always end up sweating after playing that one.”
Gang of Two: Tereu Tereu’s debut, 2009’s All That Keeps Us Together, was made as a quartet, and it had a little bit of everything. “We toyed with lots of disparate influences, from Jawbox to Philip Glass,” Little says. “The goal was to make weirdness accessible, though, like a Talking Heads thing.” Quadrants, which Tereu Tereu made as a two-piece, takes that little-bit-of-everything approach, from Neu! and Sonic Youth to Gang of Four and Portishead, and adds a tenser vibe. “Darker themes and heavier riffs seem to resonate more with everyone concerned on this one,” Little says.
Listen to “The Body Unmade” below.