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Profligate’s Industrial Pop Shifts Between a Warm Hug and a Cold Shoulder

Listen to "Lose a Little", a shimmering pop track from the duo's upcoming album.
Photo: Derek Rush

There’s no gate. It’s prof-la-git. GIT. Well, it’s actually Noah Anthony, a veteran of the American underground noise scene, who over the last decade has shifted the lines of warehouse industrial sounds and club dancefloor beats with acts such as Night Burger, Social Junk and Form a Log. On Profligate's Somewhere Else, his first full length since 2014, he’s teamed up with L.A. poet/musician Elaine Kahn, who he's been working with since 2016. The new album, released January 5 on Wharf Cat, features tracks they worked on together as well as solo tracks from Anthony.


Moving between programmed and live instrumentation, melody and noise, warm embraces and cold shoulders, the music is cast in shadows . On "Lose a Little, a track you can listen to below, subtle beats and snare mix with strings and dubby bass. As the duo's melodic vocals drop in and out of the mix, warbled electronics help create a humid and lush musical atmosphere.


Photo: Jane Chardiet

Noisey: How does “Lose a Little” fit with other songs on the record?

Noah Anthony: I think it fits very nicely within the context of the record and in some ways serves as a centrepiece. Lyrically, it addresses a lot the feelings I had, and still have of an overwhelming urge to detach from others. Skepticism and confusion pertaining to love and relationships, and just feeling sort of lost in the world in general. The song itself took the longest to come to completion. It was originally called "Trouble" and was mostly just piano.

What’s it like playing with Elaine? Is it good to be collaborating again?

It was definitely nice to collaborate with her and was truly exciting to hear the songs more fleshed out in the live setting. I like to daydream about putting a full band together at some point. Elaine has a great work ethic and we clicked on an intuitive level as far as what sounded good to us. I really value collaborations like that when you just sort of know what works without having to explain it.

Is Social Junk still a thing? I have a cassette that you put out on Ascetic House. Really cool stuff.


Thanks. No, we stopped actively playing and recording in 2010. Give Up, the cassette released on Ascetic House, was our last album. It had been sitting unreleased on the shelf for years and was available for sale for only one day!

Ren Schofield from Container, who you played with in Form-a-Log, has played shows in Australia a few times. Is it something you would like to try?

Yes, please. Get me out of this country, even for a day. I'm hoping to do a European tour in 2018.

Finally, what do you think is the most under appreciated Depeche Mode song?

I'd have to say "Lie to Me" off the Some Great Reward LP. It's always been a favorite of mine that seems overlooked.

'Somewhere Else' is available for pre-order through Wharf Cat.