For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: Trent Reznor's workout mix: a lean, murderous blend of synths, samples, pained vocals and industrial rhythms.
FOR FANS OF: Big Black, Youth Code, Agoraphobic Nosebleed
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Street Sects vocalist Leo Ashline has turned a lifetime of distress, addiction and violence into an extreme-music triumph. Since 2013, he has collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Shaun Ringsmuth to create nightmarish noise, punk and industrial punchouts, playing strobing, molten shows around Austin. On their debut LP End Position – a title inspired by a lyric from Bonnie "Prince" Billy's "I See a Darkness" – more subtle layers reveal themselves. Amid the anarchy are moments of noir storytelling, black humour and satisfying breakdowns between pummellings. "[Shaun] and I have been through hell and worse together," Ashline says. "And although we have our differences at times, we have always supported and respected one another, as artists, and as human beings. I believe in him, and he believes in me. As corny as that sounds, it's a fucking rare thing to find, in any kind of partnership."
THEY SAY: "I've always admired [Will Oldham's] ability to capture these seemingly grand and complex statements within a style that is very stark and spare," says Ashline. "He also blends humour, absurdity and even a sort of juvenile vulgarity into mature and poignant subject matter in a way that seems effortless. He's the rare kind of writer who can be hyper-specific while still giving his audience room to attach their own feelings and interpretations to his writing. He knows how to build myth and mystery around himself and his body of work."
"Before [Leo] and I started writing music together he had done vocals in a few hardcore bands," says Ringsmuth. "Not to say that the aim of Street Sects is to be hardcore, but there is a manic intensity to the music and lyrics that requires directness, and as a performer he's able to externalise an internal argument like few I've ever seen."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: "Feigning Familiarity" is a fatalist anthem that gradually increases in intensity to a final movement of blister-busting excess.