Justus Proffit

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Los Angeles singer/songwriter Justus Proffit emerged in the mid-2010s with a noisier, pop-punk-influenced sound on his earliest recordings before homing in on an introspective, lo-fi indie rock on 2017′s Ups/Downs EP. His conversational vocals and thoughtful songwriting complemented Jay Som’s when the duo collaborated on the Nothing's Changed EP in 2018. He later dialed back the distortion of his full-length debut, 2019′s L.A.'s Got Me Down, on the leaner Speedstar in 2021.
Raised in the shadow of Los Angeles’ underground punk scene, Justus Proffit began playing in bands at 13 years old and was making his own music by his early twenties. Blending melancholy pop-punk and noise pop influences, Proffit’s first EP, late 2015′s Magic, was recorded by Silver Snakes’ Alex Estrada at his Los Angeles studio, The Earth Capitol. It received a cassette release by Captain Crook Records the following year. Sounding more in the vein of early Elliott Smith, he stripped back arrangements to guitar and drums for his follow-up EP, 2017′s Ups/Downs, issued on cassette by Smoking Room.
When Proffit heard that Jay Som’s Melina Duterte had moved down the coast from Oakland to L.A., he suggested they get together and maybe work up a track together. She not only took him up on the offer but, with Duterte recording and mixing and Proffit penning lyrics and adding drums, the two singer/guitarists made five that became the Nothing's Changed EP. It was released by Polyvinyl (already home of Jay Som) in September 2018. Splitting the difference between his previous releases with a loose mix of gritty and jangly indie rock, Proffit’s full-length debut, L.A.'s Got Me Down, followed in March 2019 on Bar/None. He played all the instruments on the record, which was produced by Alex Resoagli. Recorded at various homes and studios along the West Coast and culminating in a session at Phil Elverum’s Anacortes studio in Washington State, Proffit’s second album, Speedstar, took a more stripped-down approach. It was released on Bar/None in August 2021. ~ Marcy Donelson