February 25, 2020
Seán Barna Announces New EP | Shares “Eastern Junk Dancing” Via American Songwriter | Margaret Thatcher Of The Lower East Side Out May 29th 2020
“As a queer artist, his own personal struggles have poured out as viscerally as possible.”
“Barna is a thrill to see… wearing Ziggy Stardust on his glittery sleeve,”
– Bob Boilen
“Candid, calculated and weighed by heavy contemplation on masculinity, creating a stunning and sensitive form of songwriting.”
-The Deli Mag
Today, Seán Barna has shared the first single, “Eastern Junk Dancing,” off of his upcoming EP, Margaret Thatcher Of The Lower East Side. “Eastern Junk Dancing” ironically uses Margaret Thatcher as an example of the steeled resolve necessary for a queer person to navigate the anxiety and struggles of modern society.
“For me, the phrase “Eastern Junk Dancing” came to loosely refer to the crazy existence of scraping together whatever money you can, by bartending or whatever, to galavant up and down the east coast in a tour van and play for sometimes non-existent crowds. Those of us who do this, I believe, are seekers, hoping for a few unforgettable evenings, and maybe trying to learn something about ourselves. Then I look at my life — defined almost entirely by the anxiety of trying to make a life in music, navigating the constant challenges to my ego and my already fragile mental health. Then as a songwriter — an observer, really — this feeling is compounded by the social anxiety of my peer group of weirdos, queers, and artists living in an increasingly hostile, hateful America. Through art, music, performance, and substance abuse, they stand their ground. Even evil people like Margaret Thatcher realized you needed to be a steely bitch to survive in this world. And a little bit of gin might make the trouble go down a little easier.”
Margaret Thatcher of the Lower East Side was written in the wake of the national devastation that was the 2016 election, and ironically turns Thatcher, an enemy of marginalized people and the working class, into a queer icon. It begins with a melancholy choir of wordless voices, but soon gets to the point: the most potent way to fight back, as a queer or marginalized person, is to be more unapologetic, more fearless, and more of exactly who you are. It’s time for all of us to steel ourselves, make an entrance, and make a point, screaming back in opposition to those who would threaten our safety or legislate against our lives. Ironically named for someone who did just that, the album is a call to arms — at one point begging God to “save the scene” and then realizing that the messiah just might be a queer songwriter in Denver.
Margaret Thatcher of the Lower East Side was produced by Seán Barna and Dave Drago (1809 Studios, Macedon, NY), with Tommy Sherrod (DC) and Kyle Joseph (NYC), and was mixed and mastered by Dave Drago at 1809 Studios. The album features Dave Immerglück of Counting Crows and Camper Van Beethoven, as well as Alex Northrup, Dave Drago, Tommy Sherrod, Margot MacDonald, Andrew Grossman, Alex Tebeleff, and Ben Zacharia.
Sunday, March 1st, The Parlor Room, Northampton, MA (opening for Hawktail)
Fri, Mar 27 | Spring Concert Series @ Brentwood Arts Exchange | Washington, DC
Tue, May 5 | The Public Option | Washington, DC
Sunday May 29th, DC9, Washington, DC (album release)