Penguin Prison New Single ‘The Worse It Gets’ Plus Live Show on April 8th at Mercury Lounge

Penguin Prison New Single ‘The Worse It Gets’ Plus Live Show on April 8th at Mercury Lounge

Penguin Prison – 10:30PM
Das Racist – 9:30
Solid Gold – 8:30
Bad Brilliance – 7:30

The Worse It Gets

Something I’m Not

A Funny Thing

RAC – The Worse It Gets

Luxury Living – Something Im Not

Starsmith – The Worse It Gets

ELOF – The Worse It Gets

Marina & The Diamonds – I Am Not A Robot

Jack Penate – So Near

Ellie Goudling feat Theophilus London

Erik Hassle – Hurtful

Born and raised in Manhattan, the mecca of musical endeavors, Chris Glover aka Penguin Prison has never been short of inspiration, raised on a reasonably healthy diet of Michael Jackson, Prince, Tribe Called Quest, Nat King Cole, Nirvana and Weezer, he soon began to channel these influences, feeding them into his own musical ventures that quickly helped him make a name for himself. With a soulful voice and extraordinary ability to play just about every instrument within his reach, Glover soon entered the Professional Performing Arts School in NYC. Sharing a classroom with a certain Alicia Keys, whom he regularly sang in the gospel choir with, Glover recalls she was the most mature member of the class, rendering her “almost an assistant teacher,” he jokes. “Her name wasn’t Alicia Keys then either. I guess she came up with that later.” Unintentionally following in the footsteps of the novelty stage moniker, Glover somehow became known as Penguin Prison somewhere along the way, but the source of this name’s inspiration is yet to be revealed. Equally as intriguing as the name he chose, is the road that lead him to this incarnation, many-a highs and lows, that have involved Q-Tip, boy bands, major label deals and an unforeseen “PP craze” that recently unfolded across our shores in the UK. Now, he’s being touted as “One to Watch” by BBC favorites Zane Lowe and Nick Grimshaw, as well as receiving a media shower of praise upon his outstandingly unique wonky-pop soul singles.

Never one to pigeonhole his own tastes nor talents and forever experimenting with various styles of music, Penguin Prison’s irresistibly quirky sound resides somewhere between the likes of Hot Chip, Hall and Oates, Wham and the Jackson 5. As the BBC recently put it “sharing octaves with one of America’s superstar singers isn’t the only surprising skeleton to pop from Glover’s musical closet”, having been discovered by hip hop aficionado Q-Tip, after sending a demo, a whole year later Glover unexpectedly received a call and an invitation to go meet Q-Tip at Bubby’s in Tribeca for a quick bite, he obliged and next thing he was flown out to LA for a series of meetings with some big-wig label execs. Alas, they all thought he was a little too “quirky” for them at the time, so on went Glover, refusing to compromise for the sake of signing on the dotted line.

Near the end of his graduation, Glover formed a tongue in cheek “fake boy-band” named ‘The Smartest People At Bard’, which apparently sounded something like a cross between the Beastie Boys and N-Sync (Adam Yauch attended same school). “It was a joke that blew up and went too far” he explains, far enough to draw bigger crowds than most of the acts booked by the school committee and even more so, the attention of a few A+R scouts who recognized something special in Glover and his unique approach to songwriting.

It was then, that Glover decided to take his music a little more seriously, which consequently resulted in him signing a major label deal with Interscope. After months of freely experimenting and finishing an albums worth, something Glover felt quite proud of, the label on the other hand, didn’t quite feel the same… “They just didn’t know what to do with it, it was too crazy. Every song was completely different.” A mixture of pop, hip hop, soul and rock, Glover graciously confesses the album “was all over the place”.

And enter 2009, not a bad year for Glover, who by this point decided to operate under the guise of Penguin Prison, and not long after posting some rough tracks online, he began to receive a tremendous amount of attention via his myspace page. Labels, managers, and fans from all over the world began to reach out, affirmation for this promising New York artist, that the world might just be ready for his eclectic tastes and unique approach to songwriting and production.

‘Animal Animal’ – his first single, released on Neon Gold, quickly caused a stir in the UK, with his tales of a tortured mind existing in a modern society, inclined to think way too much and suffering envy towards the furrier kind of this world ‘I don’t want to think anymore / about anything that I can’t see…’ “It’s about being human, thinking too much and wishing that you didn’t have to”.

Ironically enough, when listening to his music, thinking too much isn’t an issue at all, for the integrity of his sublimely addictive music absolutely justifies the chaos in his sound. The combination of his upbeat pop sensibility, contrasted with his dark, devious and downright sarcastic lyrics, results in an almost animalistic urge in the listener to simply keep on listening, over and over again. You have been warned. “I feel like I can do any type of music. But now I’m taking all my influences from different genres and trying to put them altogether in one sound”. Indeed, this long-time, perfected and crafted formula of his, is now proof of an irresistibly guilty pleasure for us all to partake.

Soon you will also get a taste of Penguin Prison’s textured re-imaginings of other well known, up and coming artists, with remixes of Marina & the Diamonds ‘I Am Not A Robot’, Erik Hassle’s ‘Hurtful’ and Golden Silvers’ ‘True Romance’, all true testaments towards PP’s production skills and trademark sound, providing an exciting glimpse into what’s to come with more of his own original productions coming very soon in 2010.

With influences spanning from Wu-Tang to Quincy Jones and Curbs’ own Larry David (yes, you read that right), this witty pop-pioneer is currently working in the studio on his debut album, recording mostly on analogue equipment, collaborating on tracks with various musicians including Crispin Hunt (formerly of the longpigs), spending half his time recording in London with Dan Grech-Marguerat and New York City with fellow city dwellers Holy Ghost! The result, is a sound so ridiculously infectious, that you really shouldn’t have to think about his music too much, although you probably will. So be prepared to riddle yourself silly for references to a sound that you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s fun, it’s refreshing, and you’ll damned if you can’t stop listening to it.

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