13-09-2023 Music 54

Evidence of a Struggle - Keep It

Evidence of a Struggle - Keep It

Chicago-based artist Evidence of a Struggle presents the new video for 'Keep It', a wonderful spoken-word meets post-rock clash from his primarily instrumental eponymous album.  His debut offering, this 13-track collection takes the listener on a great instrumental journey, blending numerous sub-genres spanning the art rock and alternative music realm.

Surrounding the musings of multi-instrumentalist William P C Simmons V a.k.a. Rev. Billy Simmons, Evidence of a Struggle creates lush, cinematic, beautiful and sometimes chaotic compositions.

"This is the only song on the record with words attached. I wanted the music to stand on its own for this album. I’ve been acutely aware for a long time that we’re not really listening, not seeing, and it really doesn’t have anything to do with my music or John’s artwork, but we - most of us - don’t see or hear each other, nature or our bodies. We employ so many outside elements to help us ignore all those things right in front of us that are harmful, uncomfortable, and damaging," says Rev Billy.

"The words at the end of this song all start with STOP! The animations say STOP! We try to blame everything happening on the pandemic, politics, or anyone or anything but ourselves when we all need to look in the mirror and realize we are all living in a dream and really need to STOP and wake up."

Launched in 2020 during lockdowns, this ambitious effort sees Rev. Billy play every instrument – guitar, drums, piano, synth and violin - recorded and engineered from his home studio, The Glue Factory. Once Covid restrictions were lifted, renowned sound engineer Sanford Parker (Voivod, Russian Circles, Yob, Eyehategod, Wovenhand, Darkthrone, Youth Code, Pelican) helped produce, record and master the final versions of these songs.

The album is complemented by an audio-visual storybook, created by Chicago artist John Airo. To date, short films have been shared for the cinematic single 'Do'Oa' (a wonderful fusion of Tortoise and Dif Juz), 'Alan's Song' (the sound of fear, beauty and hubris), 'Bisquee' with its engaging off-kilter post-rock, 'Bassakards' (about longing and loss), and the album's high-octane 'Sal-E'.

Having collaborated with RCA artist Ké and artists on major like RCA, Touch and Go, BMG and Universal, it is no surprise that Evidence of a Struggle would evolve. They are also recording their next album with drummer Matt Walker (of1000faces, Smashing Pumpkins, Morrissey, Garbage, Filter) and bassist Alan Berliant (Chris Connelly, Mavis Staples, Saint Asonia) with production support from Solomon Walker (Morrissey, Bryan Adams, Eastern Shadows, Year of the Rabbit).
Apart from music, Rev. Billy also owns Rev. Billy's Chop Shop, also known as an inclusive, creative space, hosting new artists' work bimonthly and declared by Chicago Reader as the city's best gallery in 2019. Rev. Billy's Chop Shop is as strong a passion as his music.

The 'Evidence of a Struggle' album is out now and is available via Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp.

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