Middle Part – Andy Selkōw’s artist moniker – is hellbent on pouring his heart out and proving that earnest emotion and endless hooks can coexist within the distorted landscape of his nostalgic sound.
The debut album from Middle Part, Disruptor, intricately combines elements of distorted maximalism with an undercurrent of heartfelt sincerity. Exploring themes such as depression, self-acceptance, and the challenges of aging, the album creates an immersive sonic journey. Infusing post-grunge and new millennium tones with innovative twists, the LP captures a fresh sense of reinvention. Selkōw’s poignant label for the album as “a depiction of insanity” alludes to the persistent theme of the Sisyphean struggle against corporate-level productivity and the pervasive emotional deprivation we often face.
The album’s opening track, “Get Fixed,” sets the tone for the record—a spirited and raucous anthem that could easily soundtrack a coming-of-age comedy set in the early 2000s, reminiscent of American Pie. It channels the angst of growing up while grappling with the acceptance of aging and the weight of regrets.
With the second single “Nowhere”, Middle Part writes a self-reflective song spawning from a moment of ego death. He proclaims that the song is “a refrain from all the anger that populates a lot of the record. It’s a confession of wanting to choose self-acceptance over continuously worrying about what others may think. Appreciating the present moment rather than placing oneself at the center of the universe is the key theme.”
Much of the album was written and recorded between New York and a friend’s cabin in Maine near Sebago Lake, with Middle Part collaborating alongside long-time friend and producer Brian Zaremba, as well as producer Michael Andrews, Frank Corr of The Drums and Morning Silk as well as James McDermott of DBA James & Bayfaction.
Beyond the music, Middle Part places a significant emphasis on the visual narrative that Disruptor inhabits. The album’s visual landscape pays homage to the golden era of MTV, subterranean societies, gritty bedrooms of troubled souls, and the squalor of downtown streets. The visual center piece of this album is a glass box; their most vulnerable and exasperated states on display, representing an exaggerated epitome of the “Tortured Artist”. Worn VHS tapes skitter and bend across screens, inhabiting liminal spaces, while mirrors reflect mirrors, casting a cascade of funhouse-like imagery, paying homage to some of their favorite directors like Greg Arraki, and David Lynch.
Initially conceived as a personal outlet during his time in Alaska from 2017 to 2019, Middle Part was born when Selkōw relocated to New York and connected with Zaremba. Laying the foundation for Middle Part’s distinctive sound he released his debut EP, I Wish I Was Alive, in 2021. It featured the lead single, “& Cry!”—a track that has already amassed over 4 million streams on Spotify. In an isolating time, the EP reached out like a hand in the dark, as Selkōw expressed, “I just want people to relate. I so desperately want to connect, and that might be the message.”
Selkōw quickly followed up with his second EP, Time Is Elastic, marking an evolution in the Middle Part’s sonic landscape. A concept record coined as “Dream-punk” by Earmilk, it incorporates influences from shoegaze and alt-pop while maintaining his signature brand of heartfelt indie rock. Described as a “fever-dream-type Y2K nostalgic escapism” the EP delved even deeper into emotive lyrical content exploring the dichotomy of “this messed-up world” and the dream world Selkōw was creating.
Recognizing that music thrives within a community, Selkōw has discovered a sense of belonging within Brooklyn’s Bushwick music scene. Middle Part’s audacious sound and captivating stage presence have secured coveted opening slots for prominent acts such as Biig Piig, Arlie, and Yot Club. Their journey soared to new heights in the autumn of 2023 when they orchestrated an immersive festival experience in the heart of the neighborhood. This undertaking, coupled with their unforgettable performance, firmly cemented their status as an indispensable and dynamic force within the vibrant live music landscape of Brooklyn.
With Disruptor, Middle Part aims to bring the darker, more profound aspects of life to the forefront of alternative pop music, setting out to disrupt the placid rhythm of the mainstream. The mission is clear: to shake up the musical landscape with a distinctive blend of heartfelt authenticity and innovative sound