Laser Background, “Jawbreaker”

Amelia Pitcherella

Andy Molholt’s psych pop outfit Laser Background is swiftly picking up speed—a few weeks ago he released a stunning, energized three-song EP, and now he’s about to drop his first full-length since 2013. Last month Molholt caught our attention when he released “Jawbreaker“, a wrenching song that he described as “a shattering call to free yourself from the toxic boundaries that we create for ourselves.” The single will be on Laser Background’s next LP, titled Correct, out next month.

It’s only fitting that a sonically far-out track like “Jawbreaker” should be accompanied by a visual that’s equally absurd. Ross Brubeck has made a video for “Jawbreaker” that’s shockingly dramatic, featuring a studio background with shifting lights and bright batons. Fluorescent colors flash across the screen and skin gets doused in colored light—it comes just short of incorporating an actual laser background. It’s eye candy, but it’s also unnerving, in line with the deeply serious lyrics: as Molholt sings, “I can’t tell you how much I feel like you are sleeping with the enemy,” someone’s getting mauled by a paint-covered hand which seems only half their own. Bodies budge against constraints—hands, a coiled garden hose, cloth—in a chilling physical display that translates to emotional torment. But sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between self-imposed destruction and destructive forces that come from elsewhere, and Brubeck plays with this ambiguity, keeping us at arm’s length.

The “Jawbreaker” 7-inch is out now via Least Records, and Correct is set for release May 13 on Philly labels La Société Expéditionnaire and Endless Daze. You can catch Laser Background live at one of many US tour dates starting in May.

Laser Background tour dates

May
10 Brooklyn, NY at Palisades
11 Boston, MA at O’brien’s
12 New Brunswick, NJ at Cooler Ranch ^
13 Philadelphia, PA at Ortlieb’s ^
14 Columbus, OH at Carabar
15 Chicago, IL at House of Heavy Petting
16 Cincinnati, OH at The Comet #
17 Indianapolis, IN at Joyful Noise Recordings #
18 Nashville, TN at Queen Ave Art Collective
20 Dallas, TX at Crown & Harp
22 Austin, TX at Cheer Up Charlie’s ‰
23 Houston, TX at Satellite
24 New Orleans, LA at Siberia
25 Pensacola, FL at Sluggo’s
26 Birmingham, AL at Trim Tab Brewery
27 Athens, GA at Caledonia Lounge *
28 Atlanta, GA at 529
29 Asheville, NC at Odditorium *
31 Charlotte, NC at Snug Harbor

June
01 Raleigh, NC at Neptune’s ∆
02 Richmond, VA at Strange Matter
03 Washington DC at Kokomo
04 Baltimore, MD at The Crown ∆

^ w/ Leapling
# w/ Lazy Heart
‰ w/ Holy Wave
* w/ Giant Giants
∆ w/ Hotline

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