Today, Shehzaad Jiwani of Greys is announcing his new project Golden Drag with the premiere of a track called "Aphex Jim" on Stereogum. Greys had a busy 2016, releasing their critically acclaimed album Outer Heaven and its companion release, Warm Shadow, and spending much of the year on the road with Japandroids, Preoccupations and Bully. In the relative calm of 2017 Jiwani found time to pursue other projects, working on a documentary film (his first) and contemplating a collaborative, long-distance band with friends he'd made over his years on the road.
"The Golden Drag project came about sort of by accident in that I wanted to have a collaborative band with some friends from abroad to write short, economical tunes and deconstruct them in the studio" says Jiwani. "Those friends got busy, but I'd already started writing songs, so I decided to record them anyway."
The project's first single, maintains the collaborative ethos that inspired the project, featuring contributions from Nate Dionne of Glocca Morra and Dogs on Acid, and vocals from Laura Hermiston of Twist and Julie Fader (Chad VanGaalen, Holy Fuck), while exploring territory only hinted at in Jiwani's work with Greys. Built around a blown out drum sample, layered synthesizers and Jiwani and Hermiston's vocal harmonies, the track recalls influences like Broadcast, Blur, Stereolab and Brian Eno, cultivating a fractured Brit pop aesthetic that showcases the strength and dexterity of Jiwani's songwriting.
"'Aphex Jim' was an experiment with me trying to write without a guitar or live drums," Jiwani tells Stereogum. "The song's unchanging pulse evokes that claustrophobic lurch you feel when you've spent too much time staring at your phone on public transit. Just some everyday lighthearted stuff!"