Experimental electronic band Occurrence are thinking big with their new album SLOW VIOLENCE.
Globally speaking, about the only news story that has mattered has obviously been the pandemic. But as we have stressed, anguished, and turned ourselves inside out over the perceived threat of this virus, it has taken our focus away from some of the more existential, long-term, and pressing threats to humanity that aren’t just going to magically disappear.
Occurrence sets out to tackle some of these issues on this new double album, and the single “Universe Moves So Fast.” The accompanying Sarah E. Jenkins and Gina Kamentsky-directed music video highlights many of these threats with its rapid-fire images of flying missiles, destruction and fireballs in the air, and tidal waves in the sea. The video and its many scenes and images move at a breakneck speed, really proving the point that the universe really does “move so fast,” making it hard for us as people to even try to keep up.
Discussing “Universe Moves So Fast” and its origins and motivations, lead singer Johnny Hager says:
“This song is inspired by a saying in Spanish, ‘inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar,’ which translates to ‘naive little pigeon, you’ve let yourself be fooled.’ It is usually something you say on April Fool’s Day when you ask to borrow something, when, in reality, you’re stealing it. Ken (Urban) wrote lyrics that took the saying and made it about loss, and the fear of it. This is a song about thinking your hard work is going to pay off and then failure slaps you hard in the face.
“Actor Peter Mark Kendall plays guitar on this version of the song. In addition to being on the album, Ken included the song in a new play he is working on called The Tenure Itch, which takes its name from a The Pains of Being Pure at Heart song.”
Joining Hager in Occurrence is Ken Urban, who arranges all of the electronics, synths, and beats, and singer and flutist Cat Hollyer. They describe themselves as an experimental electronic pop act, based in the Washington Heights district of New York City.
Due out on April 7th SLOW VIOLENCE is a return to form in some ways for the band, as it was their first album since the pandemic began that they were able to record together. Its predecessor had to be recorded remotely, so there was a lot of excitement and ideas flowing through the air when the trio reunited in the Fall of 2021. When you’ve been apart for two years, ambition is a natural consequence and the writing and recording process resulted in a bold 22-song collection, due out April 7th via Archie & Fox
Records. The album was inspired by author Rob Nixon and his concept of slow violence, an allusion to all the unseen violence that the western world directs toward the developing world.
It is this unseen violence that takes years, or even decades to really register that is one of humanity’s greatest threats, and it made for the perfect concept for the driven, determined spot that Occurrence currently finds themselves in within the scope of their musical career.