Loosely defined, an “Irish Goodbye” refers to the act of leaving something behind — a party, a gathering, even your family and friends — without saying farewell. Some call it “ghosting,” but in any case the idea is to avoid the awkwardness, embarrassment, or pain of that departing moment. As it turns out, an Irish Goodbye also forms the subtext behind “Art of the Leave,” the new single and video from Atlanta duo Anonymous Stars, which guitarist and vocalist Dan Marshall describes as an “open letter to a ghost.”
“The real ghosts are unresolved conflicts: words you can’t take back, missed opportunities, promises that withered on the vine,” Marshall explains. “Mostly they’re truths that we’re afraid to confront, or commitments we make just to get along in life… until the reckoning day comes and goes, and were just stuck and we can’t handle it. They’re eddies of words we left unsaid. It’s the ‘No’ we couldn’t utter, because we don’t want to let the other person down.”
With the help of drummer Justin Aldridge, Anonymous Stars crank out groove-heavy hard rock and power pop in the vein of Queens of the Stone Age or Them Crooked Vultures. The pair met while Marshall was running LevelHeads Studio in Little Five Points, and over the years they have worked as session players on notable records from the likes of Carlos Santana, Big Boi, Killer Mike, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and more. Their partnership grew out of their desire to create their own songs and assume control of their own careers rather than remain faceless footnotes to other artist’s legacies. “It feels like being an entrepreneur again,” Marshall says of their efforts.
For its part, “Art of the Leave” feeds off gnarled riffs and melodic vocals that offer a passing hint of soulful boogie. As noted, QOTSA is an obvious touchstone, in particular the streamlined arena rock of their most recent two efforts, and fortunately, the duo have the chops and the confidence to pull off their own sinewy assault with style and swagger. The track is the first single from the group’s new EP, Convergence: Emergence, which is available only on a USB slap bracelet sold at live shows, or via the band’s website.
Shot by Atlanta’s Kirk Films, the accompanying video examines the — how shall we put it — “unintended consequences” of shirking one’s commitments and pulling an Irish Goodbye at the worst possible moment; namely, your own wedding. The resulting action is dark and violent, providing an ideal backdrop for the group’s serrated attack. Check it out above.
Anonymous Stars will perform on Fri., September 22 at Union EAV. Doors open at 8 p.m.