Many Sexbruise? concertgoers have heard the experimental electro pop quartet sing the refrain “Fauci said it’s okay to party” over the past year. With the April 20 release of the band’s super secret surprise EP, Rhythmic White Noise for Sleeping, the line can be streamed on repeat.
In addition to the oldie-but-goodie, “Fauci Said It’s Okay,” are four Sexbruise? songs that span genres from danceable house music satire to a surprisingly straightforward Phil Collins cover. At the end of the day, Rhythmic White Noise for Sleeping is definitely not for sleeping.
“Recently we have been writing some stuff that has been a cross over into fooling people that we are a regular pop band,” said frontwoman Julie Slonecki. “That’s how you get them.”
Sexbruise? is completed by drummer/vocalist John Pope, guitarist Will Evans and percussionist/hype man Stratton Moore (one of the only desktop-tronica players in existence, according to the band).
The band’s funky, synthy nonsense has been steadily flowing since about 2018, and the songwriting process behind the madness is a thoroughly collaborative free-for-all.
“I think probably our biggest influence is each other, which sounds cheesy, but in terms of trying to write funny content by yourself versus when we get together and start talking about ridiculous things, then songs come pretty easily,” Pope said. “We will write like the first 90% of the song pretty quickly and then spend weeks putting together the last 10%, and that’s how it goes.”
With multiple songwriters and home studio setups in the mix, ’Bruise? songs are thoroughly collaborative compositions pieced together from live-instrument scratch tracks stacked with layers of synthetic tones and samples. The band produces together down to the mixing and mastering. And the diverse musical backgrounds and influences no doubt play a major role in the band’s songwriting.
“I’ve got a background in metal, jazz and jam bands, but I love bubblegum pop — like I would love to go to a Katy Perry or Taylor Swift concert,” Evans said. “I try to bring that production and fun-ness to what we are writing together.”
The track “B.Y.L. (Heart Hard)” started as an instrumental track Slonecki put together and has since been disguised as legitimate synth pop to distract from its comedic lyricism. Slonecki sings over a dreamy, driving rhythm: “You’ve got those cotton candy fingers / You’ve got those laser pointer eyes / You run through me like butter / On super sharp knife / You make my heart hard baby / You make my ribs break baby.”
“Simulation” is a weird existential contemplation about living in a world where nothing is real — “then resetting the simulation by taking the cartridge out of the Nintendo and blowing into it and putting it back in,” Pope said. “Maybe that’s what we need in the world today is just a hard reset.”
These days the band is all about content, content, content. And thankfully there’s no right way of doing it, so to follow up the White Noise EP will be a subsequent EP that will include the song the band is currently creating a music video for, “Ford Taurus.” Also on the horizon is the Sexbruise? May 14 Pour House event Face Funk 14.20 with multiple featured artists and of course, the usual ’Bruise? stage antics and snack throwing.
“I think some people assume because we have the name Sexbruise? and we’re doing comedy music that our music is going to be some sort of crude, gross-out comedy or toilet humor — really we’re actually very wholesome individuals that swear a lot and that’s it,” Pope said. “Kids actually love us because we have a shark that comes on stage.”
Slonecki concurred: “Actually all of our tactics work really well with kids, and we just don’t know what that says about us — we speak to the child inside, I guess.”
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