Draag Shares “Demonbird”

LA electro-shoegaze quintet Draag drops a new cathartic single & video, “Demonbird” ahead of the band’s debut album Dark Fire Heresy out April 28. Following the previous video for “Mitsuwa,” Jessica Huang continues to unpack and heal religious trauma, embodying what it might feel like to be a powerful man central to the inner circle of a patriarchal religious group, finally finding a voice for the women who were silenced. This looming imagery of the “Demonbird” is portrayed on a stunning wall of LED panels from LIMINAL space, who have created immersive 3D live visuals for Flying Lotus, Primus, and many more.

It was through therapy and processing her upbringing in a religious cult that Huang along with members of Draag was able to create the sonic world, story, and visual elements of Dark Fire Heresy. Some songs act as vessels of healing and forgiveness and others became revenge fantasy. Full of lush guitar, Nintendo-era synths, and warped tape samples in reverse, the album holds space for what you wish you could have said, done, or knew, while acknowledging a bittersweet nostalgia.

What began as a solo project turned into much more when LA musician Adrian Acosta, trained as a  mariachi singer by his established norteño musician father, recruited other members from disparate upbringings in the worlds of underground punk, no wave, experimental jazz, and classical music training, from Craigslist and the local DIY music scene – Jessica Huang, Ray Montes, Nick Kelley & Eric Fabbro. 

From revived songs Acosta recorded on his karaoke tape deck when he was 10 years old, Draag released two critically acclaimed EPs, Clara Luz (co-produced by Jon Nuñez of Torche) and Nontoxic Process ahead of this debut LP. Draag began to gain a reputation for their sonically immersive live shows in Los Angeles largely by word of mouth, transforming any range of DIY to high production stage into a wall of sound described as a storm in slow motion. They have opened for Wednesday, Reggie Watts, They Are Gutting a Body of Water, Film School, Milly, Mint Field and Vinyl Williams.

Photo Courtesy: Devonte Johnson