As songwriter-vocalist Claire Givens’ dad is an operatic Baptist minister, and partner Jeremy Phipps (producer/trombonist) grew up playing in jazz bands before going on to tour with the likes of Solange and Rubblebucket, they’re exactly the sort of pair you’d expect to emerge from New Orleans’ storied Treme neighborhood.
The duo now operate under the intriguing moniker People Museum. A notable Sofar Sounds session earlier this year shot them to greater prominence, and they’re currently prepping their debut album, I Dreamt You in Technicolor, for a fall release. In the meantime, BlackBook premieres here the advance single “Eye 2 Eye,” which perfectly exhibits their enchanting, multifarious style.
Keenly referencing post-punk icons like The Slits and Rip Rig + Panic (Neneh Cherry), they mix jagged rhythms, Caribbean-style horns, and seductive synths, as Givens ethereally intones captivating lines like, “Lost in translation / Found in hiding / What could come if we just try?”
“Eye 2 Eye is about a one-sided relationship,” she explains, “where one person is transparent with their feelings, and the other person hides away, restricting their emotions. The relationship could bloom if only the other person could open up and help to create an environment for true understanding of each other.”
No fall tour dates have been announced, but People Museum will throw a record release party at New Orleans’ Saturn Bar on September 28.