DIY punk project Torture & The Desert Spiders share their gripping new single ‘The Tooth, The Gap & The Filling (A-side)’, out everywhere on 27 October. The track comes as part of a double release alongside the folk inspired ‘if you go then i go (b-side)’. 

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Founded and fronted by New Yorker Anna Kunz, Torture and The Desert Spiders are a mainstay on the Liverpool and London live music scene. Inspired by great musicians around her, especially her collaborators Max Meunier (drums) and Clara Cicely (bass), the music moves and shifts between pulsing drum beats and dense and nervy guitars, all united by Anna’s captivatingly powerful vocals that build in intensity and looming dread as the track progresses. 


With their energy-filled live performances likened to that of the Talking Heads, Patti Smith, the Gun Club, and PJ Harvey, Anna draws from her personal inspirations Sinéad O’Connor and Jeff Tweedy, as well as the bands collective love of left field, industrial pop and dance, resulting in music that is hard to place and even harder not to thrash to. 


If their name wasn’t already confirmation that Torture & The Desert Spiders have a flair for the dramatic, the trio do not disappoint with their latest slice of 90s inspired unnerving garage-punk. Inspired by the all-too-familiar battle of working in a hospitality job in order to fund your art, Anna says, “This track came from a bedroom demo I made and intro’d to our producer, Pete Harrison (of San Lorenz) over at Yellowbird Studios. It was initially a poem I wrote about shit experiences working in hospitality and me questioning the ‘breaking point’ of a destitute person working in the modern world. ‘The Tooth”, “the Gap” and “the Filling” are three different people, destitute, hopeful and miserable daydreaming of escapism and your mind drifting to more morbid thoughts when life at your ‘day job’ is unbearable. 


But it is also a joke. It’s about being so beyond your point of caring at work that morbid things become farce and your bound for comfort and survival are stretched. It is the perfect antithesis to the b-side because this is a song for those who are angry and feel a bit hopeless. ‘if you go then i go’ is a song for those who are joyful, and want hope; those emotions are felt by the same person, often, and I hope these exemplify that.


I leaned on Pete a lot to help me honour its pseudo-operatic final chorus and maelstrom-like instrumentation. Pete really brought the weirder side of this track out and helped me discover how far it could be pushed sonically.”

Having moved to London from New York in 2018, the project was sparked by Anna in early 2019 to bring a different dimension to her tortured songwriting and dirty folk inspired songs. In 2020, Anna moved to Liverpool where she met collaborators Max and Clara. 


Having just completed their first full year of touring, the band have supported the likes of CRAWLERS, Mattiel, the Lounge Society, and Starcrawler, performed for the Oh Sees afterparty and played for Tim Burgesses’ Tim Peakes Stage at Sound City and Kendal Calling. With sold-out headlines in London, Liverpool and New York and solo festival slots in London, Brighton and Preston, this indie project is steadily building its cult following that is more akin to friends than fans. 


Expect much more raucousness in the coming months – stay tuned. 



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Martin Moseley

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