Video Premiere: “War Cry” by Warren Dunes

The new pop/rock quartet Warren Dunes combines members of longtime local bands Julia Massey & the Five Finger Discount and Electric NoNo, melding the buoyant synth-pop of the former with the guitar-driven indie rock of the latter. The group is a collaboration between husband-wife songwriting duo Julia Massey and Jared Cortese along with their shared rhythm section consisting of Dominic Cortese on drums and Matt Deason on bass.

“After playing for almost a decade under one band name it’s invigorating to begin another project,” says frontwoman Massey, who released six albums with the Five Finger Discount. “I hope it’ll keep us pushing toward something new and different. It’ll keep us honest.” 

In addition to sharing songwriting duties with her husband, Massey cites as an influence the calypso music of Harry Belafonte, which she and Cortese started listening to after the birth of their child. She also notes that last year’s election served as a motivation for this new, more politically charged, project: “We felt that it was our duty as artists and citizens to make a larger impact.” Proceeds from their shows will go to organizations helping vulnerable people in the city, like the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.

Today we’re psyched to premiere their first video, a live version of the earth-mother anti-war song “War Cry.” Here Massey’s voice is huskier and more combative than on past projects, framed by Cortese’s guitar and backing harmonies from Deason. It’s not hard to discern the target of the lyrics: “Claiming that a leadership is strong/When you can’t even remember who we bomb.” The video was shot at Earwig Studios in Wallingford by Chris Matthews, Jr. Check it out below. 

You can catch Warren Dunes at Folk Life May 28 and at Sunset Tavern July 1 with the Hoot Hoots and Echolarks. A live album is in the works to be released this summer.

Photos by Arthur Allen.