Indiana songwriter Peter Oren is releasing his debut album ‘Anthropocene’ via Western Vinyl next month, and we’ve got the first play of its next preview - the gorgeous ‘Throw Down’ - as today’s Neu Pick.
Centred around Oren’s booming, classic vocals, the track’s breezy exterior hides a narrative of pure anger and a search for understanding.
“‘Throw Down’ is for people fighting for freedom from oppression everywhere,” he says in a press release. “It calls for a break from the destructive norm and a path towards climate change mitigation. It’s dedicated to everyone seeking refuge from war, economic strife, and natural disasters. It’s a song for change.”
Ahead of releasing ‘Anthropocene’, Oren is set to play a handful of UK and European shows, beginning this weekend at Mirrors Festival in London, before support slots with Angelo De Augustine.
Listen to ‘Throw Down’, view the tour dates and read a little chat we had with Peter Oren about the single and his desire for connection through his music.
Hi Peter! How are you?
Hello! I’m well, thank you.
Can you tell us a little bit about the album’s latest single, ‘Throw Down’…
I was in college when the Occupy movement began, and I happened to be friends with people who took interest. Through them I was drawn in and learned about leftists politics that I’d never really encountered. “Throw Down” is my attempt to put the sense of urgency I found at Occupy meetings into song.
Your songs seem tightly tied to politics and world events - is there a personal catharsis gained from addressing these issues and finishing a song as well as trying to share your viewpoints?
Music definitely helps me process what’s going on in the world. I can’t tell you how often I start a song with a question. It feels soothing but not altogether like a solution. Writing is like a drug habit. It doesn’t really improve my life in a material way, but it brings me a short-lived peace. When people hear my work, however, I do have hope that the energy and ideas I stored in song will be released into their life and that this interaction on a mass scale could affect the culture, changing common conceptions of what kind of future is possible.
Have you had any particularly interesting conversations with fans/listeners who’ve taken something from your music, particularly in a political sense?
I can’t claim to have had many in-depth conversations with listeners or at least a good memory of such occasions, but I do remember a brief but satisfying encounter with someone at a show in San Francisco who said that my song “CAFO” made him think of power dynamics differently. And then we talked about how “bad trips” on psychedelic mushrooms should really be considered “working trips” because even if it’s not enjoyable, you’re likely processing ideas that you needed to process.
You’re over in the UK soon - have you played here before? We’re nice, we promise…
I’ve never visited the UK, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll play Mirrors Festival in London on the 28th, then I’m joining Angelo de Augustine for dates in Germany and Belgium before returning to the UK with him. I’ve been to Europe only once before, but it was years ago and not for music.
28 London, Paper Dress Vintage (Mirrors Festival)
02 Cologne, Theater der Wohngemeinschaft #
04 Rees-Haldern, Haldern Pop Bar #
06 Berlin, Baumhausbar #
07 Brussels, Botanique / Rotonde #
10 Glasgow, Broadcast #
11 Dublin, The Grand Social #
13 Manchester, The Castle Hotel #
15 London, St Pancras Old Church #
# with Angelo De Augustine