Ears Wide Open: Agender

Agender (Photo by Lindsey Byrnes)

L.A. quartet Agender make high-concept, high-energy post-punk built on slicing synths and the cutting lyrical worldview of singer Romy Hoffman.

Hoffman, an L.A.-based Australian whose hip-hop project Macromantics was nominated for a J Award in her homeland for the 2006 album “Moments in Movement” (and who has also released music as ROMY and carved out a space as a club DJ/promoter in L.A.), started the project as one of her solo vehicles a decade ago. Since the 2014 release of the first Agender album, “Fixations,” the band has grown to include bassist Cristy Michel, drummer Christy Greenwood and synth player Sara Rivas.

The sophomore Agender missive, “No Nostalgia,” is due to arrive Feb. 24. Co-produced by electronic/experimental music guru David Scott Stone, the album was started in 2019, before COVID-19 and squarely in the shadow of the previous presidential administration. After pausing the recording of the album, work resumed this year. “The album reads as a newspaper or a collage,” Hoffman says. “It’s a political, spiritual, philosophical look at modern society — the Information Age. It’s an anthropological look at the absurd current state of affairs. It’s focused yet unhinged, self-reflective, observant, brash, tongue-in-cheek, serious yet playful. Excavations and observations of the mind of an anxiously attached, overthinking, spiritual human.”

The title track — described by Hoffman as “Malaria! meets P.I.L and Wire” — capsulizes the album’s ideas.

“The song imagines a world devoid of memory, where nothing exists anymore — the dust of semiotics and signs are what remains,” Hoffman says. “There are no memoirs because there are no people. It’s a yearning for amnesia. Human beings are usually either looking back at the past or are worrying about the future. The oscillation between these tenses is what creates anxiety. ‘No Nostalgia’ is a peaceful place of no anxiety, of evaporated earth and emptiness, of erased arousal, of no desire. There is no more danger because nothing exists. The song doesn’t say what caused this, but it’s post-human Earth about to rejuvenate itself from the vestiges and damages of human existence.”

||| Watch: The video for “No Nostalgia”

||| Also: Check out “Preach” and “Astro Tarot”

||| Live: Agender perform a free show tonight at Zebulon, along with Aurat and Bicep. Info.