Fish Narc’s Hybrid Queries

The GothBoiClique producer shares a playlist of non-guilty guilty pleasures ahead of the release of his solo debut WiLDFiRE.

While GothBoiClique as a whole eschews hip-hop norms by leaning on the punk roots of each of its members, it’s generally Fish Narc’s guitar-heavy production which sets it apart from other SoundCloud-based rap collectives. Emerging from Seattle’s punk scene, Fish rose to prominence alongside Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Cold Hart, the late Lil Peep, and the rest of GBC (not to mention a few side collabs) before announcing his debut solo record WiLDFiRE, out today

Having shared a video for the title track a few months back, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the LP (which was slated to drop a month ago, but was been postponed in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and all those that followed). Yet we asked Fish for a track list detailing a handful of songs that speak to him. “Back when guilty pleasures existed, I think I would have had a hard time admitting certain songs stirred my heart,” he shares. “I used to make themed mixes all the time, but they often reflected an idealized projection of who I wanted to be; a cool art person, a punk, etc. 

“Sounds like a bad indie movie intro,” he laughs. “It’s just cute songs with a lot of interrelations—I feel they make sense but I dunno why!” Stream the full playlist below, and read on for some commentary.

Chuck Berry, “Rock and Roll Music”

This shit riles me up…it’s rowdy as hell and needs no explanation.

Germs, “We Must Bleed”

I think the Germs are mad emotional, and this is their song that stirs me the most. I love everything about it—it chokes me up.

Yung Bruh, “Samsung Love”

When he went by Yung Bruh, [Lil] Tracy used to record his music directly into the computer mic on GarageBand. This is a really good song from that time and I think it’s exemplary of his songwriting, finding beats that suited him and recording songs by himself when everyone else was asleep. He lost his phone every time he got one and it was rare for him to actually be reachable that way, which adds to the loneliness of this song.

Spike Fuck, “Junkie Logic”

This song feels like a whole character—she described the EP it came with, Smackwave, as [being] like a washed-up ’70s rocker making a last stab at it. This extra-musical quality makes the simple music of the song even more tragic and beautiful. She gives the listener so much. It’s hard not to cry listening to this one. “Heaven won’t want me ’til I’m clean.”

Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”

Why I’m putting all these insane tearjerkers is ’cause I’ve felt so messed up and out of my own body or strung out, and these songs could still reach me even when I felt low as shit and not much else did—and not to be weepy but that’s how I wanted to write my songs. Shit hurts! Not to be dramatic, you know, anyone can listen how they like. “I Drive Your Truck” is one of the most touching, saddest songs I’ve ever heard. 

Chief Keef, “Woosah/Street Car”

Sosa just dropped this two-parter this year. Sounds like double Zaytoven beats. It’s an interpolation of a 2006 Gucci Mane song with a similar title. I love how Chief Keef is coming into adulthood, but we’ve known him for years. He’s still so young, but so old, too. 

The Gucci Mane song came out when Sosa was ten or eleven. He’s being historical but also positing himself as a vet. It’s not even really the point to think too much—this shit knocks, and I’m hella happy he’s still making good music. Also, Zaytoven is the greatest of all time! One of the first producers to be on the album cover (Gucci Mane’s forward thinking). He remade a fifteen-year-old beat and it’s still perfect.

Hook, “Get Bacc”

This song feels good, like running really fast or slapping someone with a grin. Hook is singular and I hold her collaborations with Nedarb in high regard. Not to make sweeping statements, but I prefer this as the idea of what punk music is rather than guitar rock music played fast like in the ’80s.

Korn, “Freak on a Leash”

Wildfire is a production-type album, made in a rapper producer sort of way. I didn’t write anything down, but sat in front of a fresh session and improvised ’til I got something good, usually freestyling melodies and rewriting the lyrics, recording by punching in bars. I learned this from producing/engineering rap music, and I think Korn is a really obvious early example of how rock music [production borrowed] from rap. I’m not really explicitly rapping, but I would say that my songs have more structurally in common with Kasher Quon or 2016 Future than any band I might sound like.

The Distillers, “The Hunger”

Brody Dalle is one of the most underrated punk songwriters ever. This song is so unique in its mood and color to me—lonely cowboy tones almost, but ugh… I can’t even describe it! Coral Fang, the album from which the track comes, is non-stop bangers. I heard they’re reuniting for tours soon.

The Diplomats, “I Love You”

If you grew up on the censored version, it is very odd to finally hear the uncut—all Juelz’ “motherfuckers” filling that space. I love this song ’cause it’s like this perfect Heatmakerz beat with my favorite aspects of both Juelz and Cam—totally emotional, but restrained and off the cuff. Controlled chaos and poetic freedom with a beat that is as much about music as rhythm.

The Strokes, “Hard to Explain”

Hmmmmmmm, just a warm feeling!

GothBoiClique, “Boyle Heights”

This was the first iteration of me and Yawns making a rock-style beat. We did it in August 2017 at this studio in a Jewish community center in Van Nuys. More GBC members kept showing up so we kept adding more sections to the song. This will always bring me back to those very weird, unforgettable times.

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