Drab Majesty

Drab Majesty, 2023, by Corinne Schiavone

Drab Majesty is the project of Deb DeMure, the androgynous alter-ego of L.A.-based musician Andrew Clinco and partner Mona D (Alex Nicolaou). Dubbed “Tragic Wave” and “Mid-Fi” by DeMure, Drab Majesty eloquently blends New Wave and hints of the early 4AD sound into a hypnotic, futuristic originality. A combination of reverb-drenched guitars, synth bass lines, rhythmic drum machine beats, and commanding vocals, Drab Majesty has transcended its subversive Los Angeles origins into a worldwide phenomenon.

Drab Majesty’s first release, the limited-edition cassette Unarian Dances, was self-released in 2012. In 2015, Dais Records released the debut LP CarelessCareless was met with high praise from critics and fans alike, and the original pressing is now a sought-after gem. One year later, after the initial pressings of Careless sold out, Dais released the compilation Completely Careless, which featured Drab Majesty’s then-entire discography, including two previously unreleased tracks, on CD.

A talented multi-instrumentalist, DeMure composes all of the elements of Drab Majesty. However, rather than taking personal credit for the music, DeMure insists that the inspiration for the songs is received from an other-worldly source and that Deb is merely a vessel through which outside ideas flow inward. But Drab Majesty is more than just a musical project — it’s a methodical experiment in the identity of creativity. The character Deb DeMure is an enigma that eludes all expectations of gender and ego. When DeMure’s imposing 6’ 4” figure assumes the stage, Deb’s playful, harlequinesque appearance, tempered by an ominous body language, and clashing with the dreamy, ethereal melodies comes across as a web of contrasts. The result is a perfect balance between seemingly conflicting messages, between the high and the low, the drab and the divine.