D.C. dance group's new single is a danceable kiss-off to capitalist swindlers
Photo by Michael Andrade
Washington D.C.’s Coup Sauvage and the Snips skillfully combine 60s Motown, 70s European variety shows, 80s Solid Gold dancers, and 90s warehouse parties. At the same time, their music consciously resists becoming a nostalgic highlight reel of decades past. They’re always pushing forward, engaging with the sounds, ideas, and issues of the present. They sing about identity, reality, and the distribution of resources in their city and beyond. They are, in their own words, “a soundtrack for the children to watch the first-world burn.”
And it’s a really good soundtrack. On their latest single, “Driftin & Griftin,” the band condemns capitalist swindlers over their signature combination of soaring lead vocals, tight harmonies, and driving, minimal instrumentation. As the band explains in a statement, the song “gets at how manufacturing identity and, by extension, reality, is a hallmark of our age. We curate our social media feeds to present a certain image to the world. Everyone is trying their damnedest to be fascinating, to create a ‘brand,’ or sell their version of truth. There are potential grifters inside a whole mess of people. Not us, of course. This song is a warning that Coup Sauvage is onto the rest of y’all.”
The song is part of their ‘Kiss-Off Trilogy’ of tracks on their upcoming album Heirs To Nothing, to be released on Sister Polygon Records on February 10. As the band says, “We don’t write love songs, but we do write kiss-off songs. This is a kiss-off to the all hustlers, scammers, and stunt queens we’ve had run-ins with over the years. These are the type who fabricate entire backstories about who they are and where they come from. The type to gain your trust only to steal your girl, your car, and your pension.”
“Driftin & Griftin” is not timid – the band does not hold back nor waste time. We need Coup Sauvage’s boldness, directness, and voice. Their merging of sounds of the past with proclamations in the present gives us hope for what the future could be if we were not afraid.