Warbly Jets On Surviving The Purge + What’s Next For Independent Music

Warbly Jets have announced “NASA,” their first release since 2019’s Propaganda EP and their first single since stripping the Los Angeles-based band down to the original duo of Samuel Shea and Julien O’neill.

With traces of influences ranging from Guero-era Beck to the production magic of Rick Rubin and Dangermouse,“NASA” shifts away from the power chords and leather-clad guitar riffs of their first LP and propels the band forward. With its sticky bass riff and sampled horns, the track is a dynamic, genreless mix of plunderphonics–a new production-centered approach that has the band flexing their studio muscles. This mix of influences carried over to the video for “NASA,” with everyone from Stanley Kubrick to 90s music video director Hype Williams cited as visual references.

For the band, the announcement represents survival. The fully independent WARBLY JETS have been hit particularly hard by the socio-economic realities of 2020, the impossibility of touring undercutting the bulk of the band’s income. “It’s no secret that nowadays artists, especially independent artists like us, rely almost exclusively on income from live shows to make a living,” explains Shea. “For the last eight months we’ve all had to rely on streaming. In January 2019 Spotify reported that on average it pays between $0.00331 and $0.00437 in royalty to artists PER STREAM! Let’s break that down. 302 streams to make $1. We’ve gotten so used to eating the crumbs that we forgot we used to be sitting at the table.”