Written by Lauren Rosier
The New York-based, Avant/art-kraut quartet, Activity, share a new single titled “Text The Dead,” out today. The single is about profound grief and loss and was written and recorded in the wake of sampler operator and vocalist Travis Johnson‘s mother’s passing.
“My mom passed away in February. We had 24 days from when we found out she was sick with pancreatic cancer until she died. I still can’t process it honestly. I remember her telling me over the phone, when I was losing it, “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.” I knew how awful the diagnosis was but I didn’t want to tell her and I really tried to cling to her telling me that. Throughout the day, still, I’ll catch myself thinking “I should tell mom about this or that” or “I wonder how my mom is doing” and get out my phone to call or text or email her before I realize that I can’t talk to her, and that I can’t talk to her about how I can’t talk to her. Knocks the wind out of me and makes me feel insane every time. That’s a picture of her when she was probably about my age on the cover. It was built on samples I’d put together and really mutilated a long time ago and forgotten about. I was going through old stuff and found it and started singing the verse melody. Then we all added our parts and subtracted others, etc. It’s not a very “live” song but we all came together on it still.”
The quartet’s debut album, Unmask Whoever, was released in March of 2020, days after New York’s stay-at-home order. It led the band to cancel their tour and becoming one of the countless acts that have been affected by the industry-paralyzing pandemic.
Now that shows are back, Activity is ready to get back out on the road, and make their debut North American run.
Activity October Tour
10.06 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge | tickets
10.08 Boston, MA @ Cafe 939 | tickets
10.09 Philadelphia, PA @ Ortlieb’s | tickets
10.10 Toronto, ON @ Drake | tickets
10.11 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s | tickets
10.12 Chicago, IL @ Schubas | tickets
10.13 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry | tickets
10.15 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club | tickets
10.19 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade | tickets
10.20 Carrboro, NC @ Backroom Cat’s Cradle | tickets
10.21 Richmond, VA @ The Camel | tickets
10.23 Lancaster, PA @ Tigh Mary | tickets
10.24 Washington, DC @ Pie Shop | tickets
What’s so special about Activity is that they’ll happily discard any weary connotations of indie rock by using synths and samples, in addition to voices, guitars, and a drum kit… what’s the most impressive, is that the band formed just six months before they began recording.
Connect with Activity