“At that time, you can just Craft a genre,” says Nkanza. “’I’m going to call it ‘queer metal’, I’m going to call it ‘they/them-core’. It is a signifier: “This is a specific thing. These are my pronouns. It’s something you can know about me that might inform your engagement with music. But also? It’s just fun. When you have the internet, you can create a culture almost immediately.
For Nkanza, the creation of culture and the search for oneself seem closely linked. The brilliant new album Spring Silver, “I could get used to it“, it sounds like it was made by someone who grew up thinking about the electronic details of the Warp Records catalog and the melodic-saturated guitar riffs of post-hardcore heroes Jawbox and Shudder to Think. But Nkanza doesn’t settle for not to make influence soup. “When you work on it,” Nkanza says, “you might discover parts of yourself that you might not find otherwise.”
This process doesn’t always feel tidy, however. Nkanza draws a parallel with the films of Paul Thomas Anderson: “I really like his films because they have a lot of depth where it resembles his own reality, but there is also this chaos. It’s not a clear story, and when [people] ask him about it, he says something like, “Oh, I was just trying to find my rhythm.” Really? Because there’s a lot going on! But he’s clearly a very smart guy, and a lot of that is intuition. He’s figuring it out and building this world, and then when you pull back, ah, that’s it. For me, that’s how an album goes.
So what should Spring Silver listeners experience in this moment of hindsight? “Ideally,” Nkanza said, “something like, ‘I’m glad I found this.'”
Shows: March 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pie Shop, 1339 H St. NE, pieshopdc.com$15.
March 11 at 10 p.m. at Comet Ping-Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, cometpingpong.com$15.
March 24 at 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW, unionstage.com$17 to $31.
April 9 at 8 p.m. at Pocket, 1508 North Capitol St. NW, thepocketdc.com$12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Note: Proof of vaccination is required for admission to these shows. See site websites for details.