185 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
Michael C. Hall: Vocals
Matt Katz-Bohen: Keyboards
Peter Yanowitz: Drums
“We’re a weird band,” states Princess Goes drummer Peter Yanowitz. He’s not wrong. But weird like David Bowie, Bjork and Brian Wilson’s Smile might be termed “weird.” In other words: unconventional and quite possibly irresistible. Princess Goes’ second full-length album, the 12-song Come of Age, is the trio’s most accessible work to date, yet it’s still chock-full of innovative songs that traverse a thrilling and often surprising sonic and lyrical landscape. The first single, “Shimmer,” highlights Michael C. Hall’s powerful, ethereal vocals atop quietly propulsive rhythm lines, and features Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) as guest guitarist. “Shimmer”’s equally stunning and expansive video was directed by Tim Richardson (Elton John, Billie Eilish, Givenchy). “Take Me Home” serves up a soaring emotive trippiness that morphs into headbanging moments worthy of the heaviest metaller or your favorite Zeppelin album, while the haunting “Jetpack” showcase Hall’s poignant lyrics and penetrative voice, at once bell-clear and diaphanous, as the song builds to a wild and harrowing conclusion.
The 12 songs on Come of Age are by turns foreboding, mystical and danceable, Ray Bradbury- meets-the-Jetsons in its galactic aural scope. The ominous semi-drone beginning of “Blur” morphs into synthwave spectacularness, the song’s dynamics suiting Hall’s lyrics about “an illicit formative encounter.” Some of Hall’s most pointed writing is on the title track, “Come of Age,” the irresistibly bouncy musicality cut by the singer’s trenchant words: “Godzilla goggles seeing nothing but King Kong makes it hard to get along,” he sings, before deadpanning, “did you really mean it when you told me I was good / or are you just a devil spitting Hollywood.”
“Come of Age,” explains Hall, is neither a command that the audience come of age, nor a suggestion that Princess Goes has reached some adulting milestone. As with much of what the trio does, it just intuitively felt right. It was likewise an easy decision to include a remixed version of a previously released song, the fan favorite “Let It Go.” Princess Goes felt the cut, as originally written, was sort of an outlier. It started with Yanowitz. Katz-Bohen took it home, sped it up and it became a little more EDM, but also fun, poppy, and anthemic. The LP’s mixer and frequent collaborator Brandon Bost (HAIM, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga) worked on the song with the Princess Goes (and also plays some bass and keys to the album), and now the band can hardly wait to play the new, slightly more expeditious incarnation of “Let it Go” live.
Hall, Katz-Bohen and Yanowitz are seasoned performers forging new creative ground together in PG: Hall is best known for playing moralistic serial killer Dexter Morgan from Showtime hit Dexter as well as David Fisher from HBO’s revered Six Feet Under. Katz-Bohen has played with Blondie since 2008, while Yanowitz is a veteran of the Wallflowers and his own group, Morningwood.