Singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Tobias Koett used to have a problem stealing records from his older brother — specifically he stole Beatles records when they were growing up in a small town in Austria. He would use the albums to learn and sing the songs, developing an uncanny ear for the workings of pop music from an early age. He began producing music on his home computer when he was 14-years-old and would go on to release songs through his MySpace page, garnering his first radio spins when he was just 16.
After a period of time where he explored the disappointing confines of a mechanical engineering school, Koett found solace in the onstage throes of an indie rock band and in efforts organizing music and film festivals. He moved to Vienna after finally finishing his time at the engineering school to study music pedagogy. It was during this time that he met and befriended drummer and producer Marco Kleebauer, someone with whom he shred an innate affection for sound and the ways in which it could alter your perception of the world around you — they would found Ant Antic soon after.
After the release of their debut EP Blood Sugar in 2015 and their debut LP Wealth in 2017, they began a two-year period of intense touring and promotion. Eventually, Koett moved to Berlin and began to drift into the music scenes of that city, working for a time as a producer for a few different bands. At this point, Kleebauer would no longer perform live with the band, though he would still contribute to songs when they had time in the studio. After another EP and a few single releases, Ant Antic is gearing up for the release of a new full-length called Good Vids, Vile Times, which is due out later in the fall.
For a glimpse into that record’s cogs and clockwork, the band has shared “Good News,” a song that warps modern R&B rhythms with a compelling club minimalism. It’s not necessarily meant to generate sweaty movements in close proximity to dozens of other bodies but, rather, evokes a steady and tactile response which compels you to invest yourself fully in its overpowering emotion and cascading vocal melodies. The beats are subtle but resonate deeply in the chasms of your chest and head, revealing an atmosphere of mesmeric tones and compulsive rhythms which demand your complete attention.
“When I wrote ‘Good News’, I was paying close attention to the overwhelming amount of information available to me at all times, and its social effect on me as a human being,” Koett explains.
“I consider myself part of the first globally connected generation, understanding humanity as one. At the same time, I can’t fail to notice how I’m often too overwhelmed by endless possibilities, slowly turning into kind of a superficial nihilist.”
For the video to “Good News,” he collaborated with director Rupert Höller to create a visual balance to the themes of digital overload and our social obsession with all kinds of information. Draping everything in a monochromatic color palette, the clip presents an impressionistic landscape where continual disturbances wage war on our senses and where short attention spans and non-personal interactions are valued and honest emotion is reduced to clickbait and sound bites.
Höller describes his approach to the video:
“It shows the transformation we go through with our social media addiction. The overload of impressions is leaving us numb in the end. The setting is an abstract landscape, free from any outside influences. More and more, disruptions appear in the form of faceless figures while the overload is literally raining from the sky.”