LA’s Draag is the latest act to emerge from the primordial ooze that is the city’s scuzz rock rekindling. The Sylmar five piece, headed up by vocalist/songwriter Adrian Acosta, has been earning quite the reputation as a live act, playing alongside mainstays like Young Jesus and new Partisan signees Goon.
But the project has been incubating since long before then. It first took shape when Acosta was just 10 years old, as private cassette recordings made on a karaoke machine dual tape deck as a means to process and escape from an environment where, he says, “being in a gang was more in vogue than composing music.”
Acosta would go on to rework those recordings and expand the group to a five-piece, but illness and personal turmoils would continue to test the project existentially. After months of keeping an eye on their tenacious hustle, today Noisey is pleased to announce Draag’s debut EP, Nontoxic Process, to be released independently June 30.
“The EP became an answer to everything artificially driven, and a need to feel something other than sickness,” Acosta says.
The group’s first single, “Sorry,” which premiers below, is a taste of the murky grunge-gaze compositions and gut-twisting songwriting that the group has been honing—or rather, exploding—live. “Sorry” is an apology letter of sorts, penned to a past self mired in substance abuse and self-loathing; all said and done, the track took three years of recovery and acceptance to complete. You can hear it, too, in the track’s muscular progressions and turnarounds, and Acosta’s alternately delicate and defiant falsetto. Honestly, the whole thing sounds like a lost gem from The Bends, but if Radiohead had stopped overthinking things, and started experimenting sooner.
Draag plays LA’s Goon-curated Unscene Fest on June 30th as part of their release show. Listen to the premiere of “Sorry” below.