Watch the sleazy new clip from Cong Josie’s forthcoming album


Naarm-based sleazy synth serenader Cong Josie is back with 1300 Scorpio, a new single and clip from his forthcoming sophomore LP Moto Zone due be released on It Records later this year. 1300 Scorpio is a catchy earworm riding high on freshly huffed petrol fumes and bathtub brewed biker speed, or at least that is what it sounds like to me.

1300 Scorpio comes with an equally scuzzy clip that feels like it was found on an unlabelled op shop VHS tape. Directed by Clara Slewa, the clip embodies the feeling of stumbling onto a shopping channel streamed from the bowels of a seedy basement, as Cong tries to sell the audience anything that isn’t bolted down. It’s a lo-fi VHS affair that is pretty darned funny, and we are lucky enough to premiere the clip right now! Stay tuned after dialling 1300 Scorpio for a Q&A with Cong Josie himself.

Cyclic Defrost: The 1300 Scorpio clip seems to have dropped in from another time and place. Tell me about it’s genesis.

Cong Josie: This time and place exists in my head at all times… unfortunately? It’s more real than real in a way. The song itself manifested and announced itself to me as the tragedy of someone seeking attention, getting it, and having nothing to give in return. Let’s just say it’s very confessional and is a contradiction a certain someone may experience every so often… The nature of the paid hotline is something I grew up being fleeced by… whether it was calling a number to listen to a thin recording of Alanis Morissette, NBA news or later on the Rage playlist.

I know this home shopping/hotline idea has been pummelled by artists for years (Kylie’s ‘Confide In Me’ might be the best), but who cares, this world of melancholy, darkness, consumerism, guilt, absurdity and archaic ideas of ‘cool’ is everything I am.

Cyclic Defrost: 1300 Scorpio seems to have a more Country twang to it. Has Cong been listening to those old John Laws truckin’ records?

Cong Josie: I’m pretty into the majesty and glamour of some trucks, but not these records necessarily. Really, I ripped off a Sacred Cowboys song that I became obsessed with and Jy Perry-Banks (Stealing Hearts) was advertising $80 a pop for him to play slide on anything. This was during covid times (I started this recording 4 years ago). We were yet to meet. I appreciated the hustle and transactional quick buck making. Very fitting for the song and video’s themes. Maybe I’ll just send away for the next album’s songs. I like the idea of a quick buck, or a quick release of the subconscious as is in the song. Also, I loved the pedal steel of ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ by Olivia John and ‘Sleepwalk’ by Santo and Johnny so much growing up and as much now that I craved that heart string tug – especially as it rubs up against the cold mechanics of 1300 Scorpio.

Cyclic Defrost: Your band has changed, I can only assume the old band is either dead or fired. Who is in your group now?

Cong Josie: Dead and fired… it’s complicated. Let’s move on, but please Johnny remember me.

Cyclic Defrost: Cong Josie feels too dangerous to listen to safely. Tell me it’s just an act…. or is it?

Cong Josie: Well… no, sorry. I don’t like safety in music. In fact, it bores me and I detest it. I fell for a romantic idea (do not tell me the truth) of all those Norton Records-ish outsider rockabilly artists from the 50’s and 60’s, my own fan-fiction fantasy of Tracey Pew and the tragedy and dripping cool beauty of crooners like Roy Orbison or more recently for me, Scott Walker and Smokey. Nothing safe in those lives seemingly and nothing safe in my ‘shadow’ life, I guess. To bring it out into the glare of the big supermarket lights can be cathartic and show it to be absurd and ridiculous too, I think.

Cyclic Defrost: What’s in store for us when the Moto Zone is unleashed?

Cong Josie: I think it’s a real reckoning and understanding of myself and my reassessed and excavated past. The first one was larger in scope and maybe trying to provide some solutions, but in crisis. This one hones in, revels in the devil’s work, but displays it for what it is. It needed Cong! to expand on to push into the joy of the kicks and it really does. It’s bolder and informed by the million shows the band and I have done now and the people we have met. Revs harder and burns sweeter, baby. It’s been a part of me now for a few years, so it really just feels like a part of me.

Cyclic Defrost: What’s better? Snake oil or engine oil?

Cong Josie: Hmm… finally a chance to stop being so earnest and pretentious (I’m sorry), as is my mood right now. Obviously, Snake Oil under the Cong Oil umbrella brand as depicted in the video is better in every way, but let me explain. Snake Oil will keep you up for three weeks, you’ll get your taxes done, see those friends you never see (and never will again after that interaction), write that book you’ve always wanted to about a lowly urchin who rises up to TV stardom in Moonee Ponds and travel to Amsterdam and back to pick up some salt herring. Engine oil will fuel your car for a week, fuck the planet and it doesn’t taste nearly as good as Snake Oil. We did the Pepsi/Coke blind tests, but with the oils to a bunch of grade 6ers the other day and the results did not support this, but it was likely rigged by big-Vape Juice industrial complex.

Thanks to Cong as always for your slightly terrifying, yet candid responses.

Cong Josie’s Moto Zone is scheduled for release on August 16th on It Records as a filthy limited edition Exhaust Fume clear vinyl, and digital. You can pre-order your copy here.

If you are brave and aren’t scared of strange people, then you should probably head to the Gem Bar in Collingwood this Saturday May 18th for the 1300 Scorpio single launch. It’s free, and you should probably take a change of clothes.


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