Baggage's debut album Life In Misophonia is out today!
If you want to help spread the word about Baggage, first and foremost–– thank you!
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With the world working against them and years in the making, Baggage’s debut LP is here: Life in Misophonia is a beautiful collection of life-long ponderings, self-discovery, and tear-jerking if you slow down and take the (much deserved) time to listen. A record full of sleepers and slammers back to back, the band echoes sounds of Jeff Rosenstock’s punk-rock tendencies as well as carrying tinges of Midwest emo—they are a purely Michigan band after all.
Sonically, the record is big and booming, but it’s the small bits of detail like the hissing of “S-s-s-silver” in opening track “E-350” that make it obvious that Life in Misophonia carries special heart for Baggage. Named after the rare disorder frontperson Jonathan Diener was recently diagnosed with, misophonia is characterized by a literal hatred of sound. Years of sleepless nights, uncertainty, and frustration rear their heads all throughout the debut LP—from challenging poorly-attended shows with “Horseshoe” to using snarky metaphors in “Hotel Hallway,” it’s all wrapped up with a five minute long ballad in “Fly Home for a Funeral." Instead of careening to a stop, Baggage gains speed and leaves listeners on a note that reads more “to-be-continued” than “the end.”
“This is my story, and I just finished a chapter in it,” Jono says. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but thank god something can happen next.”
Diener is a triple threat: musician, illustrator, and activist, most of which exists in the community that raised and caused Baggage to exist––Flint, Michigan. With a platform from his previous beloved pop-punk group The Swellers, Jonathan saw the opportunity to “give back to the place that gave so much” to him, using the connections and voice he’s garnered in the last ten years. Organizing a compilation called Not Safe to Drink featuring over 80 bands, all the proceeds (about $10,000) went to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund. And he doesn’t stop with music either—Jono recently released his first comic book, HOPE: A Comic For Flint, and directed profits to help disabled and disability-identified adults in Flint.
Now expanding past just Flint, Jono’s activism shows little sign of slowing. A comic inspired by Baggage is to be featured in the upcoming Everything is Going Wrong comic anthology that centers around punk rock and mental health. You can order it here—the proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project and MusiCares.
written by Olivia Keasling
edited by Jamie Coletta