Amen Dunes, the experimental art-rock project of Philadelphia-born singer Damon McMahon, has released a new collaboration with Sleaford Mods singer Jason Williamson, the twitchy and psychedelic ‘Feel Nothing’.
‘Feel Nothing’ represents McMahon’s first release since 2018’s Freedom, which saw an increase in visibility and status for the singer-songwriter. It also represents the artist’s first release on legendary Seattle-based independent record label Sub Pop, most famous for housing the grunge explosion of the 1990s but also being the jumping-off point for a number of highly successful alternative acts of the past two decades, including Fleet Foxes and Sleater-Kinney.
The song itself is dense, pulsating, and rather esoteric, with its lyrics seemingly referencing specific gripes and occurrences McMahon has lived through, although I couldn’t verify their authenticity. “In the middle of a show I break down, yeah/Can’t remember what to say/Can’t shake this ugly feeling, baby/But it’s not lasting.”
Just a warning for anyone with sensitivity to flashing lights and imagery: the video for ‘Feel Nothing’ features a poem or quote or general statement evocative of the song’s message that rapidly blinks between different colours. It’s a lot to take in even if you have a solid constitution, so for anyone with a weak stomach or negative predisposition to this kind of thing, make sure you know what you’re going into.
It’s not certain whether ‘Feel Nothing’ is the first taste of an upcoming full length, which would be the follow up to Freedom, or just a one off collaboration with peers whose work McMahon admires. Whether it’s the former or the latter, it’s exciting to see McMahon back under the Amen Dunes moniker cranking out a more synthetic and industrial sound. Indie rock, this is not.
Check out the video for ‘Feel Nothing’, featuring Sleaford Mods, down below.