This April, members of Fake Limbs and Beat Drun Juel, two recently defunct staples of Chicago’s noise-rock scene, debuted as the duo Djunah. Beat Drun Juel’s front woman fills a similar role here, playing guitar and singing under the new stage name Donna Diane—except she also adds bass parts with a foot-pedal synthesizer, Michael Rutherford style. Fake Limbs drummer Nick Smalkowski anchors the songs with hearty beats that will sound familiar to fans of his old band—in fact Djunah is almost a hybrid of both member’s previous groups, wedding Smalkowski’s knotty, rock-solid rhythms to Diane’s dramatic, sweeping melodies.
Today Djunah releases the single “Brother,” whose accompanying video (directed by Chicago-based photographer Dave Rentauskas) makes a powerful statement about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings last month, the Clarence Thomas hearings decades before, and government’s role in silencing women. As the song reaches its massive, chilling climax, the women in the video remove the American flags that have been tied over their mouths—hinting that the tides in the country are turning, no matter what happens in next week’s midterm elections.
“Brother” is for sale on Djunah’s Bandcamp page, and all money raised will be donated to Brave Space Alliance, the first black- and trans-led LGBTQ+ center on Chicago’s south side. Djunah play Tuesday, October 30, at Lincoln Hall with Ganser, the Bombats, and Blush Scars.