The Brooklyn band's explosively verbal, shapeshifting, and snarky emo-pop explores how intersectional identities move within predominantly white spaces.
When Erik Garlington changed his band’s name from Great Wight to Proper., his fans immediately assumed the stylization was an Into It. Over It. homage. Considering his rich history of playing emo inside baseball, they could be forgiven. After all, Great Wight included a song about a life-changing Tiny Moving Parts basement show on 2017’s The Suburbs Have Ruined My Life, and while that album title could pass for a Wonder Years Lyric, I Spent the Winter Writing Songs About Getting Better comes from an actual Wonder Years lyric. The reality is that “Proper.” is a reference to the one topic that always takes priority in Garlington’s lyrics: “We got it from white people telling us, 'You talk white. You talk, like, real proper. One of your parents must be white!'” The subject matter hasn’t changed much from The Suburbs Have Ruined My Life—Garlington is still venting righteous frustration over the ways his band’s intersectional identities function in predominantly white spaces, but his view has expanded far beyond their local emo scene or Kansas City to encompass the near-entirety of American society.