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Vine Leaves Press, July 16th, 2024

"A High Fidelity for our millennium..." — Dan LeRoy, author of Dancing to the Drum Machine: How Electronic Percussion Conquered the World and The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique (33 1/3)

For Paul, stealing is easy. When he's hungry, he strolls into a bodega and steals lunch. When rent’s due, he steals records and flips them for cash. As a lonely kid growing up in Ohio’s Rust Belt, stealing was the only way he could score the hip hop records and production equipment that fueled his musical dreams.


Now he’s in NYC fighting to keep his once-ascendant band alive and his life from falling apart. His bank account is flatlining. The love of his life has broken his heart. Bunky, his bandmate, is ditching him for Eloise, a soulful vagabond with an intoxicating voice. When financial trouble forces his parents from their lifelong home, Paul ramps up his stealing to save his family from collapse. And in a fever of creativity, he begins to steal from the voices in his life to make the music he’s sure will save his soul.


Set against the modern music industry, where a single social post can change your destiny, Static is alive to the weight of familial expectations, the pursuit of our deepest hopes and dreams, and the struggle to make meaningful connections in the anxiety of the digital age.


"Static reverberates with the drumbeat of why we make art. It perfectly captures that moment in life between youthful hopefulness, where our dreams seem inevitable, and the urgency and pressure of age, where we must decide whether to seize our passions or let them be snuffed out like a burnt cigarette. Brendan Gillen’s funny, witty, and energetic prose will hook you like a beautiful, catchy song that you’ll be humming for days." — Will Musgrove, author of Asphalt Dreaming


"Static is a heartfelt, moving debut about the downtown New York music scene, brimming with wasted talent, floundering ambition, broken hearts, and betrayals -- and wonderfully redeemed by the possibility of second chances." — Elizabeth Gaffney, author of Metropolis and When the World was Young

Static is a deep dive into the dark web of the American way of success and failure, and the unforgiving scream of the music of chance.”

— Salar Abdoh, author of A Nearby Country Called Love

"Static is a dizzying journey through the life of a young musician who will do anything to prove the worthiness of their misunderstood pursuit of passion. Music pops out of every page in multi-sensory detail - the warm crackle of a needle on vinyl, the sweat of a crowd, the vibration of strings, the digitized reanimation of a sample, and the cacophonous ambient symphony of New York City. Beneath the vibrant soundtrack is an old song familiar to any aspirational artist: feelings of delusion, jealousy, determination and desperation coalescing into a motivational force, leading the characters to the human connection of songwriting and performing that make it all worthwhile. Static examines what it means to be an artist, and the impact such an impossible pursuit has on an individual’s relationships and livelihood in an unforgiving America. It’ll leave you nodding your head in lockstep with its irresistible beat, pleading for Gillen’s inevitable encore." — Will Hagle, author of Madvillain's Madvillainy (33 1/3)

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