Imagine building an Ikea bedroom set with two friends, no tools, and all three of you blindfolded. Some parts might not end up the way you intended and you would definitely get in a few arguments, but with enough hard work and dedication, you could eventually do it (probably).

This is how Brooklyn-based experimental band Battles creates music. No, they’re not blindfolded and their gear far surpasses the quality of Ikea, but their process definitely reflects challenge. Battles uses a lot of sampling and looping in their writing and live performances. They also do it without a click track, an in-ear system that keeps time for the members while they play. This could lead to a lot of issues live, but this band makes it work and owns it.


This atypical process also leaves room for interpretation while writing. Given the kind of percussive rhythms Battles uses as loops, unless the members establish a start time beforehand, the melody’s rhythm can begin at several different points, making it a challenge for everyone to start at the same time. These sorts of challenges would stump a lot of musicians, but the members of Battles tackle them head on and use this difficult writing style to their advantage, taking their time to create music that is unique and special.

It’s been four years since Battles’ last album release, but they did recently share a mini-documentary that gives fans an insight into their lives and musical inspiration. If you happen to be a follower of the group and have asked yourself the question, “Why do they take so long to put out new music?” the documentary offers a good explanation. It is a perfect introduction to the band for those who don’t know them, and those who do will feel closer to them after watching it.

Battles obsesses over sounds, tones, rhythms, lengths, tempos, and every little piece of their already-challenging music. They are one of the more unique band you might come across, so look out for their new album, La Di Da Di, on September 18th and don’t miss their set at this year’s FYF Fest. Battles is one of those bands you might not get at first, but once you let their melodies and rhythms soak in, they will be your new obsession.

For more info: