The members of Activity are an all-star team among Silent Barners, each member belonging to bands who frequented the Brooklyn arts space before its unfortunate demise in 2018. Grooms’ Travis Johnson leads the experimental rock quartet—also featuring Russian Baths’ Jess Rees, Field Mouse’s Zoe Browne, and Better Call Saul’s Steve Levine (the group’s Michael Cera), who also played drums on Grooms’ penultimate album—which produces sounds more ominous than anything his previous band arranged across their five albums of increasingly haunted noise pop.
The collective is announcing their debut record today: Unmask Whoever is set to be released March 27 via Western Vinyl. To mark the occasion, the group is sharing the not-not-a-horror-movie clip for the track “Calls Your Name,” which Johnson claims was inspired by reading C.S. Lewis’ novel The Great Divorce. “[It’s] like a fever dream about actual hell,” he shares, explaining how hell, in the book, isn’t necessarily a place you go when you don’t get into heaven. “It’s a place where people who don’t want to go to heaven stay. Anyway, it’s a pretty harrowing look at resentment and fear in some ways. The houses, mansions, are all getting farther and farther apart because people are closing in on themselves more and more, not wanting to let anyone/thing in.”
It’s no coincidence, then, that “Calls Your Name” is a little hellish per this less-damning definition of the place—check out the eerie track and visual below, as well as a handful of East Coast tour dates.