Premiere: Brendan the Navigator and thepaintingcompany Share “Animal” and “just a little off!” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Premiere: Brendan the Navigator and thepaintingcompany Share “Animal” and “just a little off!”

Listen to Both Tracks Below

May 05, 2023 Bookmark and Share

Over the past few years, New Jersey-based band Modern Chemistry have made their way as rising stars on the alt rock scene, releasing four EPs and two full-length records. Most recently, the band returned with 2022’s my battery is low and it’s getting dark. This year, bandmates Joe Zorzi and Brendan Hourican have been keeping busy, but in a slightly different lane. Rather than releasing more music as a band, the pair are each contributing to a split single from their individual solo projects.

Zorzi is sharing “just a little off!” under his moniker, thepaintingcompany, and Hourican is debuting as Brendan the Navigator with his new track, “Animal.” Both songs are out everywhere today, premiering with Under the Radar.

“Animal” leans into the meditative side of Hourican’s songwriting, sprawling outward with emotive guitar lines, dreamy synths, and shadowy melodies. But while the track is largely moonlit and spectral, it also has its anthemic moments, rising upward atop towering drum fills and crescendoing melodies. It feels like a careful blend of ‘90s alt rock and a modern singer/songwriter confessional. As Hourican explains, “Animal” is about “... feeling embarrassed about how much I want someone. And lacking the courage to do anything about it.” Even, “...being pathetic and creepy.”

In contrast, while “Animal” broods and glowers “just a little off!” shimmers. The track is a hooky indie pop throwback in the same vein as bands like MUNA or Bleachers, laden with glittering guitars, a pounding kick drum, and an earworm hook. It is a very different stylistic detour than “Animal,” but is also similarly reflective lyrically. As Zorzi explains, “It just focuses on how easy it is to get stuck in your own head. It’s hard to stay in the present and focus on what you’re actually doing. Add in some choice paralysis, and it’s game over.”

Check out both of the songs below, out everywhere now.


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