The debut EP from New York band Public Practice, Distance is a Mirror, is a confident, juried testimony of love steeped in dark optimism. Dry, deadpan vocals chant over skittish guitar and danceable 70s grooves—songs snapping like rubber bands—seesawing between post-punk and its insomniac twin sister disco. With contradicting references as overt as Talking Heads (without the shoulders), but as specific as Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra (with some polka dots), the band is carrying a funky torch that does not get lit too often.
The four members of Public Practice—singer Sam York, guitarist Vince McClelland, synth/bassist and vocalist Drew Citron, and drummer/programmer/producer Scott Rosen- thal—are no strangers to songwriting. A Brooklyn DIY supergroup of sorts, Public Practice combines members of freshly-dead punk project WALL and local pop band Bev- erly. Public Practice backs their ambitious songwriting with serious chops, their live shows already pulling them into the sharp foreground of a scene growing all too warm-and- fuzzy.
Sam York’s lyrics reflect the city and its contradictions— they are personal, funny, cryptic and surreal, but never truly pessimistic, rotating around an individual’s toxic but symbi- otic relationship with perception.
By the end of the short and bitter-sweet 4-song EP, punc- tuated by Sam York’s sign-off of “no you can’t take it back now,” Public Practice anchors themselves as a new band with wisdom like their influences, bringing songs distinct- ly fresh as they are familiar. Public Practice will privately change your mind about where guitar music is going. Tired of the familiar? Seeing dots? Wake up!