Contact Jessica Linker, Yuri Kwon about Clothing

Today, Clothing — the duo of Aakaash Israni (Dawn of Midi) and Ben Sterling (Cookies, Mobius Band) — release their debut single, “Kingdom feat. Amber Coffman.”


Sterling is a born and bred New Yorker who came of age marinating in pop music, while Israni is an Indian-born, SoCal surfer who studied classical composition in France and free improvisation at CalArts. The two met over a decade ago on the stoop of a Crown Heights house party and became close friends. Sterling took Israni to Madison Square Garden to see his beloved Knicks, and Israni returned the favor by smuggling Sterling onto the stage as his ”bass tech” when Dawn of Midi opened for Radiohead at the same venue. Soon Israni was playing bass in Sterling’s band Cookies, which was also his first time playing an electric bass after a lifetime on upright.


Ten years later, Israni and Sterling, both now California-based, introduce themselves to the world as Clothing. “It’s just another day/In my kingdom of fun/The gods are watching/They’re setting the sun/On fire,” begins their debut single, “Kingdom.”  As dawn breaks, the listener drops into a restless landscape of angular synthesizers and lush melody, provocative rhythms bracketed by sudden silences. This is a particularly distinctive form of a pop song, both surprising and distantly familiar, a no-frills sonic psychedelia where the beat is wherever you think it is.


On her contribution to the track, Coffman raves: “It was really cathartic singing it. I love a good puzzle and a song that makes my musical brain work a little harder. It was a gratifying challenge- really enjoyed working with Aakaash and Ben.”