THE VIRAL world we’re all slowly swimming through, occasionally dashed on the rocks of what the fuck? means we’ve all made adjustments, remote learning, collaborating, working – which, as luck would have it, has made not a jot of difference to the creative practice of Valerie Green and Paige Shedletsky, the twin minds (or not, as we shall see) behind Karate, Guns and Tanning.
They’re used to creating and working together via ISDN; best buds and musical fellow travellers, Valerie lives in Indianapolis and Paige in Louisville.
“We basically share a brain,” Paige says in terms of their songwriting process.
And 15 years into their sonic lockstep, they’re ready to unveil themselves in their latest musical guise, Karate, Guns & Tanning; with an album, Concrete Beach, which seeks to take in post-punk, a smattering of industrial edge, riot grrrl, and the wide guitar oceans of shoegazing; the intent being fully conscious and in Valerie’s words: “The album hits you like a Mack Truck.”
Despite Valerie moving to Indiana in 2009, the two kept trading song ideas for nearly ten years. When COVID hit, they found themselves with ample time and decided to complete Karate, Guns & Tanning’s debut album. And it became a passion project for the group during the most destabilizing year in modern history. They recruited friends from the Indianapolis music scene, guitarist Joy Caroline Mills and drummer Daniel Guajardo, and so the quartet who recorded the album was born – albeit remotely, with some members only meeting in the flesh for the first time after the album was completed.
“It’s been a saving grace,” says Valerie. “It’s definitely been therapeutic.”
Paige adds: “It was just so scary going into [the pandemic]. This was such a needed distraction. We already have most of the next album written and a seven-inch follow-up on the way.”
Concrete Beach will be out on March 26th; and so you’re prepared, you can dive into the first single release, “Graffiti Children”, with surreal artistic visuals courtesy of Andrew Knives – that’s all just down there.