White Lung Shook Our Bones in the JamRoom for Google Play Music x Milk
Of all the topics Mish Barber-Way, a writer and the lead singer of punk rock band White Lung, has covered in her journalistic career, filicide is one of her all-time favorites. “It’s when parents murder their children,” the regular Vice contributor explained to me, all sweaty, after leaving her set in the Milk JamRoom last night to take a nice respite in an air conditioned room. “I’m a true crime person. I’m into this podcast called Sword and Scale. That’s the nasty shit.” Last night, Barber-Way took a break from casually researching people like Casey Anthony to indulge in her other passion: savagely rocking out with her band White Lung—the latest musicians to come out of the Google Play Music x Milk JamRoom program supporting young and emerging artists. The fact that this took place on a Monday night had little impact on how brutally hard Barber-Way, along with guitarist Kenneth William and drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou, went in on the crowd.
The JamRoom hasn’t hosted a punk show in a while, and we were ready for this one. We’ve definitely never seen a mosh pit form under those marijuana string lights—albeit a short-lived mosh pit, thanks to some limb flailing. “On the first song, someone slammed the microphone and it went into my lip,” Barber-Way admitted. “Everyone got all scared and acted like I was Stalin and they were the Russian peasants and I kind of prefer it that way.” Before the microphone became a weapon of mass destruction, the crowd that had flowed into the basement was greeted by a mix of punk and hip-hop hits spun by John McSwain. Some Vice staff who came out to support Barber-Way mingled with DJ/model/techno princess Sita Abellan, The Wolfpack star Mukunda Angulo, Yeezy muse Amina Blue, editor and Nicola Formichetti muse Jillian Mercado, and model Sarah Snyder. It was the most glamorous punk show we’ve seen in ages.
When the beats stopped and White Lung sauntered onstage, the energy that had been simmering all night finally exploded and surged with each guitar riff. Powering through their new album, Paradise, the band played through crowd pleasers like “Kiss Me When I Bleed” and “Narcoleptic” before stopping to announce they’d be playing a quiet song. “Well, quiet for us,” Barber-Way admitted before they continued to rattle our bones at a slightly lower decibel level. When it comes to the heavy shredding of White Lung, there’s no quiet mode. Which, as it turns out, was just the antidote we needed to shake us out of our Monday funk.
Check out more of White Lung’s bone-rattling rock on Google Play Music.
Images shot exclusively for Milk by Andrew Boyle.
Stay tuned to Milk for an exclusive interview and video with White Lung, and more from the Google Play Music x Milk partnership.