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Prinzhorn Dance School

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Biography

Brighton, England's Prinzhorn Dance School strip indie rock down to its sparest, nerviest essence, combining shouted, slogan-like vocals, clattering rhythms, and the occasional twangy or rumbling guitar in their minimalist, mysterious songs. Tobin and Suzy Horn took the name of Dr. Hans Prinzhorn, who collected the art of his mentally ill patients, as inspiration for their own work, and began writing and recording songs in an abandoned chapel in Portsmouth. After about a year and a half of songwriting and playing a few gigs, they sent their demo to five of their favorite labels. The duo ended up signing to DFA Records in 2006, becoming the label's least electronic-oriented act. That November, they released their first single, You Are the Space Invader/Eat, Sleep, as a 7" limited to 500 copies. They began recording their debut album early in 2007, beginning at a cottage in Devon with sessions that were scrapped in favor of recording in a Sussex barn. Prinzhorn Dance School then traveled to New York to mix the album with DFA's James Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy, and Eric Broucek and play some dates opening for LCD Soundsystem. The group's plans to return to North America a few months later to open for LCD Soundsystem's spring tour were thwarted due to visa issues. Prinzhorn's second single, Up! Up! Up!/Hamworthy Sports and Leisure Center, was issued later that spring, and a third, Crackerjack Docker, was released in summer 2007, just a few weeks before their self-titled debut arrived. After touring in support of the album, the duo kept a low profile for several years, playing occasional dates and recording. The 2010 single Seed, Crop, Harvest suggested more music might be forthcoming, but it took until late 2011 for another single, Happy in Bits, to precede the announcement that a second album was forthcoming. Clay Class arrived in January 2012. Inspired by their first U.S. tour in 2013, Prinzhorn took a mobile approach to writing and recording their next batch of songs; the results were 2015's Home Economics, the duo's most stripped-down and vulnerable work to date. ~ Heather Phares

Top Songs

Genre
Years Active:

'00s, '10s

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Contemporaries