PWNT entered the indie music scene with his debut LP, “Days in the Summer” in 2021. Over the past two years he has been collecting credits with amazing acts like Hether, LP, Brijean, and more while making his best work yet as an artist.
Featured Musicians/Personnel – Will Fox, LaCore, Steven Frieder (Woodwinds), Jacob Peter (Guitar), David Davis Co-Producer/Mix Engineer (Credited on work with Miguel, Frank Ocean, War on Drugs)
PWNT is marked first by its warmth. The name, an abbreviation of Miles Davis’ ideology “Play What’s Not There,” quickly gives away the loving expression of mastermind Kosta Galanopolous’ various influences that reveal themselves throughout 2021’s aptly-named Days In The Summer and 2022’s Don’t Look In The Mirror and Goodbye Forever. However, the warmth these works express prevails just as much through its quintessential southern California sound as it does through PWNT’s devotion to deftly syncopated percussion paired with a dedication to influence from all forms and eras of off-kilter pop music. With two years spent understanding himself as PWNT, Galanopolous returns with Play What’s Not There, released July 28th.
With Play What’s Not There, PWNT created another statement of intention that feels less geared toward shows of drum and stylistic prowess, with which PWNT is clearly endowed, and more toward songwriting and texture. The drums are even more dry, and acoustic guitar as a layering instrument has taken the place of keyboard and synth. Thankfully though, PWNT’s love of horns remains. Resultantly, the songs sound older, both in terms of sonics and maturity. The respective descriptions of a “dreamy, hazy sound that feels perfectly aimed for…scorching summer afternoons” created for “transporting listeners onto an inflatable flamingo in a Californian pool” from ComplexUK and Dork Magazine certainly capture the peership that any listener could make between PWNT’s Days In The Summer and Toro y Moi’s June 2009 and What For? and Tame Impala’s Lonerism, but those comparisons simply don’t apply as readily for Play What’s Not There.
With previous releases, there are a number of moments of deceptive minimalism laying in a mirage of simplicity created by a striking amount of layers and instrumentation. With Play What’s Not There, PWNT is less interested in that subtlety. Each song contains multitudes. Even a ballad like After Four (featuring LaCore), arguably the song on the album with the simplest arrangement, is still littered with scattered sounds, seasoning the baseline composition. It’s all the moving pieces that have been reigned in with help from David Davis (Miguel, Frank Ocean, War on Drugs) that bring a timelessness to songs like All Depends On You, featuring the honey-voiced Will Fox, Lonely, and Never So Bad.
Before and during PWNT’s origins, Kosta Galanopolous, a New School trained jazz drummer turned songwriter, session player, and producer for artists like Hether, Luke Temple, Brijean, and Adam Lambert, found himself turning his 2020 quarantine isolation into motivation to create on his own terms. While Days In The Summer is a representation of Galanopolous’ longing to once more experience the outside world, Play What’s Not There is an expression of a more established creative self. It’s PWNT’s manifestation of a desire to step from behind the scenes with long-cultivated talents and knowledge. Play What’s Not There was written, composed, and recorded entirely from Galanopolous’ Long Beach home studio, and will be released on Nashville’s Acrophase Records.