Last year, River Beats covered the debut EP release from a local group named People Museum. The project, titled I Dreamt You In Technicolor, was a fresh sound in the New Orleans scene: a mix of brass, ethereal electronic vocals, and examining lyrics, which all came together in a unique way.
Now, People Museum is back with a new set. The five-song collection is titled I Made a Madman Out of Me and You Laughed. The new offering brings a lot in the way of the last EP: cleaver beats, full-throated trombone bits, and sharp drums. Although their vibe has remained unchanged, the band’s identity is more clear than ever.
I Made a Madman Out of Me and You Laughed
Madman starts out with something hopeful. On the lead track, vocalist Claire Givens sings about love, and how it can pull you through, “out of luck and out of my mind, lost in a place and wasting my time, on the other side I found your eyes.” Givens continues, “Please don’t let this go,” she asks to her muse, “I want to love you with my whole heart.” Bandmate Jeremy Phipps joins around two minutes, supporting Claire’s passionate plea with a grounding trombone riff. The balance this brings to the vocal airiness is a rooting influence. Similarly, it carries that effect onto the other four tracks.
The middle of this EP is where People Museum wants to make listeners dance. Givens starts in with a few breathless lines that weave in and out, sonically thickening the beat. It converges with a few rolls of the drum and more synthetic layering. With the knowledge that local producer MoPodna lent in producing Madman, you can almost hear his fingerprints on a track like this.
In many places, I Made a Madman Out of Me and You Laughed feels like the grown-up sibling to I Dreamt You In Technicolor. The second to last song, titled “Cherry,” seems like a callback to People Museum’s first EP. The lyrics (which quote the Technicolor title) and the overall composition of “Cherry” feel reminiscent to the darker, searching tone of songs like “Bible Belt” and “Let Go,” (hailing from the first EP).
The title track of I Made a Madman Out of Me and You Laughed, is just as questioning as prior songs, though in a quieter way. It’s as if People Museum’s sound has matured, becoming more thoughtful as it aged. A transition we’re all familiar with, and one that Phipps and Givens distill into their work artistically.
EP Release Party
Last month, People Museum released a set of live-performed videos for several songs, both new and old. The incredible productions relayed more than just the unique sound that People Museum brings; the videos were a hard example of how People Museum performs. Stellar lighting and effects immerse the band in a set of visuals that are highly attuned to the group’s music. Live shows are a distinct aspect of the band’s identity. As such, the party for Madman is one you won’t want to miss.
This Friday, December 6, People Museum invites you to attend an EP release party for I Made a Madman Out of Me and You Laughed. The Saturn Bar plays host to People Museum, as well as Julie Odell’s Mosquito Eater and DJ Chinua. The show starts at 9 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
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Alright y’all. We are releasing a 5 song EP on December 6th and there’s a big show to go with it at @saturnbarnola . Performances by us and @juliekodell’s @mosquitoeatermusic and a dj set by the incredible @djchinua. Flyer by @nicholasabateman and original album art photo by @camille.lenain
Featured image via the artist.