Igor Keller, the visionary behind the musical project Longboat, is a rare example of someone who can dance gleefully through genres at will. His forthcoming release A Short Walk to the Capitol is his 24th full-length release, following Shag-carpet synth-pop, Bossa nova, chamber punk and Gauloise-scented piano jazz of Album 21, and the Electro-Blues of The Wow & The Pow, Volume 2. This time around, Keller bathes incisive, politics-fueled lyricism in a minimalist electro-funk stew of propulsive, motoric percussion paired with rubbery synth basslines and electronics pulled straight from an early-80’s DARPA black site.
Longboat has offered up the latest single coming from A Short Walk to the Capitol, titled “Circus.” Keller said in regards to the track: “In recent years, our country has witnessed an odd political phenomenon: people getting elected to public office who have no interest in governing or government. Instead, they use their positions to vent all kinds of conspiratorial craziness, much of which has been nurtured in dark corners of the internet and bears no resemblance to the truth. These people are not serious. They’re clowns. And when you elect clowns, you get a circus. And everybody loses.”
A Short Walk to the Capitol was written in the aftermath of the events that took place in Washington, DC on January 6th, 2021. It traces the tactics, thoughts and actions of those who took part in the riot. Too often they were motivated by fear and rage. Add a delusional, wannabe authoritarian into the mix and the results become almost inevitable. The former president is never mentioned by name, but his menacing presence is felt in nearly every tune. There are views from the left, but it is primarily an exploration of the motivating factors of the right, from the QAnon conspiracy to grievance culture, cowardice among our elected officials and right fragility. This album is a dark, multifaceted tale tied together with dank funk.