“Art is meant to be incendiary, meant to make you feel and see and enrich your otherwise tepid human existence,” is a piece of wisdom from the mouth of Katie Alice Greer, the front woman of Washington D.C.’s post-punk outfit Priests. Since 2012, they have been rocking the musical establishment. True to the DIY-ethic, they self-released their lauded debut album ‘Nothing Feels Natural’ in 2017 through their own label, Sister Polygon Records – through which they also introduced the world to Downtown Boys, Snails Mail and Sneaks. Bred in punk, Priests play rock’n’roll that is as intellectually sharp as it is focused on pop’s thrilling pleasure centres, that is topical without sloganeering. The high-wire physicality of their live shows, their commitment to cultural, political, and aesthetic critique has made Priests one of the most exciting bands of their generation, doing things you would not expect.
In April of this year, they released the follow-up ‘The Seduction of Kansas’. If ‘Nothing Feels Natural’ served as a manifest for the existence of the band, then ‘Kansas’ serves as the execution of that manifest. Its ten pop songs are like short stories told from uncanny perspectives, full of fire and camp. This is Priests in their most immediate and musically cohesive self. The title is a moving target, probing questions about the realities and mythologies of America in 2019 without giving in to easy answers.