Despite its eminent catchiness, Provoker’s music is not for the faint of heart. The Los Angeles band pairs post-punk aesthetics with a decidedly contemporary approach to pop-adjacent songwriting, creating something that’s equal parts addictive and melancholic. Founder Jonathon Lopez, originally launched the project as a vehicle to explore composing for film, but before long it morphed into a self-sustaining entity, resulting in the 2015 cassette demo Sneak Peek!, and a double A-Sided single, Dry City Maniac.

After meeting Lopez at a horror screening, vocalist Christian Petty joined the band in 2018 for their breakout Dark Angel EP. Previously an R&B singer, the group’s music started taking on new shapes with Petty on vocals, finding the middle ground between catharsis and despondency; at the same time, they moved their center of operations from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. Stylistically, they arrived at a masterful blend of synth-forward minor key romanticism and resplendently moody R&B, animated by an electric sense of yearning. “All our songs have some sort of defeatist mentality or insecurity behind them,” said Petty. “Some deep sadness, escapism, and idealism.” On the road, Provoker are a four-piece, fleshed out by bassist Wil Palacios, and percussionist Kristian Moreno. Their debut LP, Body Jumper, arrives August 13th via Swedish imprint Year0001.




11 Dec 2021

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The Shacklewell Arms

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