On Escorts, Advertisement provides a convincing argument for rock’s continued ability to reflect the maddening incoherency of the world around us. Moving with a cadence which is at once both tragic and lighthearted, melancholic and laughable, Advertisement confront the delirium of modern life and twist it into something subtly charming. At heart, Escorts is a reminder that the most beautiful aspects of life are also the most disappointing, the most sensible course of action, often the most stupid. In Advertisement’s world, only the fool makes the rules—to that end, the only recourse is to lean in.
On their vibrant and sprawling album opener “Victory”, Advertisement observe the frenetic pulsations of a disintegrating, androgynous love-or-friend affair from the stuffy vantage point of an apartment room, following a rosy-tinted narrator as they fling vaguely religious objects against the walls and make conspiratorial bets with a silent god.
Escorts is a nighttime record. It burns with the neon-seared complexion of a drunken city wanderer, always moving with a funny sense that there is an unnamable fear lurking just off the horizon. City nights are fleeting, endlessly tumbling towards the disappointment of dawn. Advertisement metabolizes the sounds of good nights gone awry with startling clarity, shifting effortlessly from glossy, leather-doused glam rock to glitching, Kraut-inspired spirals, Scott Walker-tinged empty pub revelries to industrialized club loops. Undergirding the entire record is a singular devotion to pop worship: amidst its suffocating whirl of jagged sonic palettes, Escorts displays an unwavering loyalty to the ideal of simple, engaging songwriting.
Advertisement wrote Escorts whilst scattered Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York City. They reconvened in Los Angeles during the summer of 2022 to record, enlisting the help of engineer Mike Kriebel (Osees, Ty Segall, Mild High Club), who tracked and mixed the record. The end result bears an increasing energetic resemblance to the chameleon-like, attitude-over-genre sensibility of both early forebears like Roxy Music and Amon Düül as well as more recent contemporaries like Total Control, The Men, and Milk Music.
At heart, Advertisement makes no attempt to overwhelm the listener with indulgent references or feigned cerebralism. Rather, Escorts follows in the tradition of all the mad art which came before it, turning the delirium of living into something dumbed down and delightfully visceral.
Photo Courtesy: Lizzie Kidd & Sloane Berndt