A few years ago, doomsdayers predicted that the apocalypse would occur in 2012, based on some creative readings of astrology and Mayan history. There was even a bloated disaster film about it. But 2012 came and went, and life went on.
Or did it?
For D.C.-New York collective 2012 Bid Adieu, the title of their debut album doubles as another theory: “We Died in 2012: This Is Hell.” All the psychological, political and environmental tumult of the past few years? “This is our digital purgatory that we’re living in,” says Jordan Clark, a co-founder of the group.
Despite its foreboding, alternative fact title, the music of “We Died in 2012: This Is Hell” is loose and even playful, with an anything-goes-approach reminiscent of N.E.R.D., Andre 3000 or Tyler, the Creator’s later work. Off-kilter funk swerves into a punk freakout on “Laced With Love for My Girl”; electro-soul gets pitch-shifted on “Out the Window”; “Alot2unpack.Zip” keeps things acoustic; and the self-aware “D’angelo Type Beat” does sound like a song the R&B legend would record.
The vibe of the record extends from the group’s philosophy. Clark describes 2012 Bid Adieu as a “subconscious collaboration” that creates music and art “just for the joy of creation.” The collective includes musicians, artists, singers, producers, videographers, actors, dancers, models and writers, and it has snowballed from a small group of friends to its current size, at somewhere between 15 and 25 members.
Only a handful will perform when the band joins Jamal Gray and Nag Champa Art Ensemble’s ongoing residency at Eaton, but their aim is high and true. With their “collective voice,” Clark wants its members to “find refuge and make sense of the nonsense that we live in right now.”
Show: July 28 at 4 p.m. at Eaton Workshop, 1201 K St. NW. Free.