Freddy Ruppert

Freddy Ruppert, formerly known as This Song Is A Mess But So Am I and lead songwriter of Former Ghosts (with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, Zola Jesus’ Nika Roza and Tearist’s Yasmine Kittles), is about to release perhaps his most idiosyncratic project yet. The EP, titled Wait, is being released on cassette via NNA Tapes under his real name, which he’s been using since last year on two EPs (Sickling, Home From The Wars) and a full-length (Dove Hounds).

While the name change marks an ideological break from This Song Is A Mess But So Am I (a project originally intended to serve as catharsis for dealing with the loss of a family member), the instrumental EP also serves as an aesthetic departure from the Radioshack industrial hell of that project. Exploring the reverberated low-end frequencies of bell tones, field recordings, and piano, Ruppert takes on the themes of “expectation without an emotional resolution or climax,” a transitory, non-teleological exercise in dark ambient whose requirement of attentive, in-the-moment listening becomes its own reward. Or maybe there is no “reward” in the traditional sense with this sort of music. Rather than relying on the usual aesthetic tricks to keep the listener interested, “1,” the tense, enigmatic track below, shows how the fluidity of its sound and the textures themselves are enough to incite and maintain interest. Here, Ruppert is more ambient than industrial noise-pop, more Badalamenti than Xiu Xiu, and I’m liking it.

Check out “1” here and a trailer for the EP right below it:


Wait is due August 14 on NNA Tapes.

• Freddy Ruppert:
• NNA Tapes:

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.