Written by: Matt Sloan
Today we present you the new single “Freakshow” from the NY-based Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show.
The band is gearing up for the release of their Roberta EP – the first in a set of three EPs, each named for women encountered through sci-fi time-traveling sagas. If that isn’t enough to make you want to listen to their new material, let’s consider what this eclectic cabaret-punk antifolk outfit have already done.
Before and since dropping their last The Collateral Vignettes EP in 2014, Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show were primarily known for being a live band with cult followings in their home regions of New York City and Detroit, where they play regularly and throw off-kilter parties, among which is their highly popular annual “Devil’s Night” party.
The band is comprised of Dalton Deschain (vocals and guitar), Jo Kroger (vocals), Craig Kierce (guitar), Michael Kennedy (bass), and Phil Harris (drums).
The Roberta EP tells a horror-punk-antifolk saga about demon possession, circuses, and nuclear warfare dating back to the 1940s. “Freakshow” is the first single from the forthcoming EP and it focuses on Roberta, a transwoman who finally finds love with a stagehand for a traveling sideshow.
“Freakshow” is fast, loud and gruff – the kind of thing you can imagine on the stage of a circus beer garden with pints of beer being guzzled down as the circus folk parade through. Maybe that’s the point anyways – to evoke one’s imagination. While I wouldn’t straight out say this is an antifolk band, I do appreciate the narrative storytelling element here in the same way I appreciated Amanda Palmer from her Dresden Dolls days and since. The band’s thematic sits them closer to her self-named “circus-punk” genre.
Whether the listener revels in this kind of sound or not (and I do), one thing is definite – the imagination that went into this EP – from fantastical concept to composition and delivery – is so much greater than anything produced by most modern bands. Driving home this point is the fact that the band will also be releasing a chapbook of stories and illustrations, along with a download code, lyrics and a short story written by Deschain himself.
The Roberta EP will be released on October 28 and “Freakshow” is already available via Bandcamp.
In the meantime, Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show continue touring and have the following shows coming up:
Sept 8 – Boston – Out of the Blue Too (with Emily Einhorn & Ferdinand the Bull)
Sept 28 – New York – Pianos downstairs (with Maude Gun, Shapiro Brothers & MNR PLSR)
Oct. 27 – New York- Sidewalk Cafe (‘Roberta’ album release show)
Nov. 4 – Pittsburgh, PA – Black Forge Coffee House (with Danvers)
Nov. 6 – Washington, DC – The Velvet Lounge (with Lonely Ocean, Ménage Á Garage)
Keep up with Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show