GANGS OF KIN is not a story of brutish male rites. Instead, it’s a name that plays on the familial bond we feel as cultural junkies, sound disciples and rabid ‘stans’ – the connection we feel as music lovers. Kinship is what keeps us falling all over again, for each and every note. As much akin to a band of grifters, traipsing around lower Manhattan seeking out beats, kin can represent our affinity for each and every unique and seemingly opposite music style that resides within all of us – as varied and assorted as any vintage vinyl bin.
GANGS OF KIN is the artist project for songwriter/artist Joël Gaerthé, an eclectic, contemporary artist – at once troubadour with a memorable raspy voice and oracle barker with a witty phrase to share. GANGS OF KIN is his own blend indie rock meets surrealist pop. Throughout this project, he explores a plethora of genres and styles – from psych pop to R&B – a hybrid-ethos in pursuit of creative and emotional abandon, and an audience – a gang. “Music is something to be shared. Ego doesn’t belong because higher levels are reached together”, elaborates Joël.
Gaerthé, based in Amsterdam, knew from a young age that, whatever his path would entail, music would be the center. Performing by the age of 16 — in his words ‘as a failed pianist,’ he thankfully discovered his own soulful rasp, a voice that could help him give flight to his emotional thoughts and spiritual creations – all elements at the heart of good songwriting. He joined various bands, playing with a number of local collaborators including a stint in The Howlin, which caught a bit of buzz and attention from tastemakers.
However, after touring nonstop from 2011 through 2018, he was burnt, he needed a new, different outlook. He wanted something that would allow him to produce beats and songs unapologetically, employing his love for film’s like Miller’s Crossing and Down by Law as well as J Dilla, low-fi beats and a love for Flaming Lips, OutKast, MGMT and Tame Impala. Thus, GANGS OF KIN was born — a collective between his own various styles, all embodied by him – his own band, his own gangs of kin.
Further inspired and itching to get the songs he had in his head on tape, he went into the lab (studio) and cooked up his first solo mixtape ‘Broke not Broken’ in 2019, which received good reviews from various UK outlets as well as a couple of nods from BBC Music and Clash magazine. Joël adds: “It’s never too late to follow your gut feeling. ‘The Broke Not Broken’ Mixtape was an intro of what’s to come for me. It’s a body of work that represented the struggle I was going through, about following your gut no matter how long the path might be.”
Now, Gaerthé, having spent time experimenting alone and with others – he has collaborated with producers as widely as David Sitek and Stefan Skarbek amongst others – he married his unique vocal range to distinctive musical landscape of his vision. As the new world order took hold in 2020, and the world got a bit smaller, the current carried his music to LA, where he signed a deal with the Project Supertouch Records, a new imprint distributed by Last Gang, from former artist manager and A&R man, Todd Roberts. The release of “Broke” and ”Haterchild” mark genre-bending singles, which continues to push boundaries sonically and venture into new sounds and textures, a bittersweet, bluesy dirge appropriate for modern day. Newest single ‘Love is All Around’ gives us a warm and hopefull energy and was put out in the world to remind us love is all around us, even in shitty times. With a string of singles in the pipeline, maybe if the world goes “off vacation” again, GOK will embark on a tour along with another batch of releases over the years to come.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Conan Mockasin, MF Doom, Madlib, Tom Waits & Flying Lotus
Social Media Stats
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Instagram Followers: 1.440
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