Disq – the Wisconsin-bred rock band – announces its new album, Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, out October 7th on Saddle Creek, lead single “Cujo Kiddies,” and North American tour. Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet reaffirms the charms of Collector, Disq’s 2020 debut album, while pushing the sound and dynamic of the band in exciting and unexpected new directions. It is fitting that the album’s clever backronym effectively makes this Disq’s self-titled album, as it introduces the public to a new Disq, a band both seasoned by experience and newly invigorated toward vivid new heights.
Lead single “Cujo Kiddies” doubles as a thrilling re-introduction to Disq and a playful entry-point to the expansive sonic landscape of Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet. “I finally hooked up with the metal machine // I’m finding comfort in the metal machine,” bassist/songwriter/vocalist Raina Bock intones in pitch-shifted vocals that hover above skittering production. Bock explains: “I wanted to make a song that sounded like a freight train full of clowns and silly toys, barreling through the dark, observing and taking note of the various gloomy landscapes of my brain (without dwelling too long or taking any of it too seriously).”
“I wrote the first half of ‘Cujo’ from deep inside the hole of substance abuse and loneliness. The song was meant to function as a blueprint for how I wished my reality could look. Six months later, sitting in an ocean of boxes all packed up for what would be my fourth time moving that year, I wrote the second half.” “The experience inspired what I hope to be my lifelong approach to songwriting going forward… To write songs not with the goal of reflecting on where I am at a given moment, but as a tool to pull myself out of the way things are and toward the way I’d like them to be.” “I wrote ‘Cujo Kiddies’ for nobody else’s ears but my own, so while it is now making its way out into a strange world where I am not the only living person on earth, I truly from the bottom of my heart hope you all enjoy— but if you don’t, rest easy in knowing that it is no skin off the author’s back either way. This song has already done everything I could have ever hoped it would.”
Though initially formed as an extension of the lifelong friendship between guitarist Isaac DeBroux-Slone and bassist Raina Bock, Disq has evolved into a far more egalitarian organization, as Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet finds guitarists Logan Severson and Shannon Conor splitting singing and songwriting duties with Debroux-Slone and Bock. Such an approach could have easily fallen into the trap of “satisfying everyone, pleasing no one,” but happily, the opposite is true. Disq has emerged a stronger band, more daring and more defiant, ready to finish the job.
Wrangling a melange of styles such as this is no simple task, but Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet is held together by the powerful yet nimble rhythm section of Bock and drummer Stu Manley, whose muscular and hyperactive playing alternately keeps these adventurous compositions tethered firmly to the Earth and sends them soaring into stratosphere. Producer Matt Schuessler rarely lets a verse or chorus go by without adding some new sonic sparkle, keeping the arrangements an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of textures and moods. If there is a record in 2022 which squeezes more ideas into 41 minutes, then that record could surely only be the unlistenable mess that Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet avoids becoming so deftly.
Pushing play on Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, it is easy to imagine that it is the year 1998, and your cool older sister has returned from her freshman year at college only to hand you the sort of mind-altering mixtape out of which lifelong rock fanatics are born. Though, things being how they are in the world today, the idea of finding “someplace quiet” feels like an increasingly remote possibility, and the act of imagining such a place does, indeed, feel more and more desperate. With Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, Disq take a valiant stand against the temptation of complacency. As for that “someplace quiet?” It will have to wait... it's about to get loud in here.