Stream: Sego, ‘Whatever Forever’

Sego at Echo Park Rising in August (Photo by Jessica Hanley)
Sego at Echo Park Rising in August (Photo by Jessica Hanley)

Spencer Petersen is not interested in what he calls “the haze of comfort” — either languishing in it himself, or letting you coast through your consumptive oblivion. Because self-indulgence is the enemy of the self, and Petersen, the provocateur behind the L.A. art-punk ensemble Sego, fears losing (or losing touch with) his identity. Along those lines, the new Sego single “Whatever Forever,” he says, is about “the idea of going through the motions with little thought to the outcome. I’m doing everything I can to avoid that.”

The single is the first new music from Sego since last year’s full-length “Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around,” the highlights of which included Petersen’s ironically laconic speak-singing (streams of consciousness that leave you clinging to every phrase) and biting dance-punk rhythms and guitars. “Whatever Forever” is that and more, sprinting acerbically toward a monster chorus. His deadpanned “Don’t ask if I’m OK” might sum up the whole thing best.

The forthcoming second album from Sego (no details yet) figures wade through that malaise further. “This is certainly not the first time someone has written about alienation, disconnect and the woes of modern paradigms,” Petersen writes in a social media post. “These are tropes that are constantly weaving their way through music and literature. … Everything is conveniently available for consumption, analysis and debate. It’s this availability coupled with a lack of new ‘firsts’ that had me in a stupor.”

He got out of his own comfort zone to work on the new music, traveling to Canada (“in the winter,” he points out) to work with producer/engineer Dave Newfeld, who has worked with Broken Social Scene, We Are Augustines, Holy Fuck and On an On, among others.  Says Petersen: “I was hoping that the uncertainty of outcome and extreme conditions could creep into these recordings and provide something that feels human.” To be continued.

||| Stream: “Whatever Forever”

||| Live: Sego headlines the Echo on Oct. 19. Tickets. They also open for El Ten Eleven on Oct. 16 at the Observatory (tickets).