New York’s Activity are a favourite of ours here at Sun 13.
Consisting of members of the equally brilliant Gowns and Russian Baths, the four piece released their stunning debut album, Unmask Whoever, last year. So good, it album made our Top 50 Albums of 2020.
We said it was the greatest debut album of the year and we’ve since heard nothing else to suggest otherwise.
While the quality of Unmask Whoever is evident, we should also point out at Activity are probably the unluckiest bands from the lockdown period. Having released their debut two weeks before the pandemic and inevitable lockdown, look no further than the album title. You couldn’t make it up…
But the band kicks on and at the beginning of the month they unleashed their Bandcamp exclusive track, White Phosphorus.
White Phosphorus continues the momentum of Unmask Whoever.
Clocking in at just over 5 minutes, White Phosphorus starts with a medieval- riff before those water-tight rhythm sections take the song into a sprawling atmospheric presentation of the very idea of indie-rock circa 2021.
Granted, it’s not far removed from the songs from Unmask Whoever but it doesn’t need to be. If anything it’s more refined, their shadowy aesthetic stalking then emerging from the shadows like a skewer that pierces the heart. It’s Activity strengthening their hold on their own songcraft.
Sonic Youth comparisons will be rife, and it’s no bad thing, really. This is the kind of the cut that could have ended up on the revered Sonic Nurse.
With the band said to be working on a second album, we really can’t wait to see what the results are. White Phosphorus is one of the finest tracks released so far in 2021 and it further demonstrates that Activity are indeed one of the most exciting bands to emerge since the turn of the decade.
White Phosphorus is out now. Purchase from Bandcamp.