Out Artists on the Rise

photo by Alesia Exum
The Shondes
Brooklyn-based quartet, The Shondes, have been commanding our ears and attention with what they deem “politicized, dramatic rock music with classical and traditional Jewish elements.” After the release of a three-song demo last year, the group have been compared to the likes of their Riot Grrrl predecessors for their anthemic punk growls and scorching lo-fi guitars, alongside haunting violin arrangements.

The group’s design was one of purpose and passion, according to bassist Louisa Solomon. After five years of doing political work, she met drummer Temim Fruchter in 2006 while at a rally protesting the Republican National Convention. The pair would soon explore music as their new medium for expression. The word “shonde” itself is Yiddish for disgrace, shame, or outrage. The members used the concept as a mouthpiece for their most personal causes, including sexism, racism, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Their fans have been deeply responsive.

“Our music often resonates with a lot of people even if they’re not queer,” Solomon says. “We’ve connected with progressive Jewish communities, anarchists and indie rock fans...If they like the music, it opens up space for us to talk and that’s exciting for us.”

Right now, however, the group has no time to savor their success. The quartet is busy this summer working on their first full length record, The Red Sea, coming in October 2007. National tour dates in the Midwest and West Coast will follow on their website.

Visit The Shondes: shondes.com. –Patricia Chung

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