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Justus Proffit

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By now everyone knows about the bleakness lurking next to the glamour of Los Angeles, where the space between abject poverty and untold wealth can be inches.
Justus Proffit knows that world better than most, having grown up in the city’s underground punk scene. A lifer at 25, Proffit started playing in bands at 13, touring at 16, and running his own DIY space by 22. Living and creating on the fringe has deeply informed his work as an artist: two self-released EPs (2016’s Magic & 2017’s UPS/DOWNS), his acclaimed 2018 collaboration with breakout Jay Som, Nothing’s Changed, and never more powerfully than on his debut full-length and label debut, the tellingly titled L.A.’s Got Me Down.
A mixture of new material and songs he’s written over the past few years, L.A.’s Got Me Down explores a tumultuous time in Proffit’s life, one punctuated by the loss of close friends to drug overdoses, a war with personal demons, and the more mundane aspects of being an artist in a city as notoriously standoffish as Los Angeles.
A certain darkness permeates much of L.A.’s Got Me Down, but the album doesn’t wallow. Anything that can be described as “my ‘Back in Black’”—as Proffit calls “Shadow of the Cross”—won’t be a slog. After his more subdued EPs, he had no intention of keeping the intensity down. “I wanted to come out with a rock record this time,” Proffit says. “I’m happy to start playing loud music again.”

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