L.A. ensemble Runnner make folk music as filtered through the tech goblins of the 21st century, as if aliens with futuristic machines crashed a backyard party where the neighbor kids were playing acoustic songs around a firepit. “We start with these honest, bedroom-folksy songs,” says Noah Weinman, who with Nate Lichtenberger helms the band’s rotating cast when he’s not playing with Worn-Tin, Natalie Green or DAISY. “Then we just start adding like 808s and weird found sounds and pretty soon it’s something totally new and exciting.”
Transcending gimmickry, their feats of sonic collage add a wry sensibility to their evocative songs, whether they are about heartache or eating chicken. (“Monumental,” from Runnner’s 2017 album “Awash,” manages to touch on both.) Which brings us to the band’s new single “Eggshell,” a shuffling meditation inspired by an anxiety attack that arrives in the kitchen. Cooking can be a great comfort, though not necessarily for an overactive mind. “I don’t know if I’m washing my hands enough,” Weinman frets over a chattering banjo, Ben Salk’s piano and James Wolf’s anxious slide guitar, as he contemplates his relationship with the countertop, his therapist, white sugar and the very song he’s in the middle of.
Existential malaise, over easy.
||| Stream: “Eggshell”
||| Also: Watch the video for “Awash”
||| Live: Runnner opens for My Friend Alan on Feb. 7 at Resident. Tickets.