Horse Lords share new song ‘People’s Park’

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Credit: Audrey Gatewood

Nearly a month out from the release of their new record, “The Common Task,” Horse Lords today released new single “People’s Park,” a reference to a park founded by the Young Lords, a Chicago street gang-turned-community group.

In the late 1960s, the Young Lords were concerned the city was trying to drive out the Puerto Rican population near the Lincoln Park neighborhood and established the public park on a parcel of vacant land–one of several actions in the group’s movement “for self-determination within the Barrios of the United States.”

Fittingly, the song takes its cues from one of the most influential genres of Puerto Rican music, reggaeton.

“The project was approached with great respect for the history, techniques and repertoire of reggaeton, trying to extrapolate from rather than impose upon,” the band said in a statement. “The standard drum pattern underwent a process of distillation and recombination (this we must admit was not a minimally invasive procedure), mutating into a tiling rhythmic canon.”

(Here’s a reggaeton drum loop for reference.)

On “People’s Park,” the band uses bass and percussion to refashion the above beat, weaving in arpeggiating guitar and other percussive flourishes to create a head-nodding groove–until it all breaks apart into a scattershot of drum beats, electronic blips and synth tones.

Watch the video, which stars a group of figure skaters, below.

Horse Lords announced “The Common Task” last month, saying the songs used algorithmic composition and polyrhythms to reflect the band’s view of “a utopian, modernist ideal.” The album is due out March 13 on Northern Spy Records.

On the night before, the band will play a record release show at The Ottobar.

Brandon Weigel

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