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Pop / Rock 12/01/2024

Middle Sattre Share New Single 'Hate Yourself To The Core'

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Middle Sattre Share New Single 'Hate Yourself To The Core'
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) The Austin-based experimental folk project Middle Sattre shared their potent and shimmering new single "Hate Yourself to the Core" off the eight-piece band's forthcoming album Tendencies, set for release on February 9th via Sad Tree Records.
"I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding internalized homophobia. There's this idea that if you're gay, then you can't be homophobic. I wanted to write a song that very clearly lays it all out and explains how this can happen," explains bandleader Hunter Prueger.

The track arrives alongside a Maya Lam-directed music video starring Stephanie Shin, who also arranged the video's choreography. On the collaboration, Shin revealed her approach: "In creating the movement, I was really inspired by the consistent instrumental pulsing that builds throughout the song, and I immediately visualized a sort of circular momentum that I think is replicated in the video. Maya and I were focused in on the powerful lyrics of course, but also the tempo of and restraint in the vocals. The whole process was all the more special getting to collaborate with Hunter, a friend of over 10 years."

Tendencies is a raw, intimate account of queer coming-of-age that sees frontman Hunter Prueger confronting his internalized homophobia and shame leftover from growing up gay in the Mormon church and pivoting towards self-acceptance. At its heart, it is a collection of stories that are intensely personal in detail yet universal in their representation of the queer experience.

In "Sweet 16," Prueger meets a friend's dads and admits that while he thought he would feel proud, instead he is disgusted. He is overcome with guilt after piercing his ears on "Corrupted" - a practice that is forbidden for men in the church. But throughout the record, he sees a way forward. After years of suppressing his frustration, he finally allows himself to feel anger on "Seven Years Since the Fall," and towards the end of "Imperfect Hands" he finds solace in the arms of another man.

With a background as a noise artist, Prueger has a penchant for finding inventive ways to play instruments. This narrative of frustration and reconciliation is told through the rattle of acoustic guitars draped with chains and explosions of banjo strings struck with fidget spinners. Snares and velcro get repurposed as guitar accessories, and elsewhere instruments are time-stretched and granulated into barely recognizable forms, altogether creating a sound that is textural, prismatic, at times aggressive, and often devastatingly beautiful.

Middle Sattre originated as a solo home-recording project in Salt Lake City using a cheap microphone and discarded instruments acquired from working at a middle school. Gradually, Prueger looped in collaborators from around the country, laying the groundwork for what would eventually become an eight-piece band.

In early 2022, he moved to Austin, TX with S. Wallace (vocals, keyboard) and Mitch Stevens (guitar, banjo, piano). From there the band grew to include Jordan Walsh (prepared guitar, drums), Juniper Card (guitar, drums), Kai Jasmin (viola, guitar), Sophie Mathieu (cello), and James Tabata (bass).

Lyrically, their compositions are at once both mournful and hopeful, and Prueger's soft-spoken, almost whispery vocals have an ethereal intimacy that creates a sense of being let in on a long-guarded secret. In both intent and narrative, the band's work is composed of vulnerable introspections on the agonies of repression and the ecstasies of slipping loose from those bonds. Sonically, that abstract of breaking free from constraint carries over into the band's unconventional use of traditional instruments. Middle Sattre is rooted in folk traditions but is not bound by them, unshackled in both sound and story.

Middle Sattre will celebrate today's release of "Hate Yourself to the Core" with a performance at Studio A on January 13th. The following month, Middle Sattre will celebrate the release of Tendencies with a special hometown record release show at Radio/East with Some Say Leland and Brother Nielsen supporting. Stay tuned for additional tour dates to follow, including performances at SXSW Music Festival in March.

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