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NEWSKI urges everyone to get weird on ‘Freak Flag Fly’

A man wearing a scarf and all-denim outfit stands between two porches, with two men seated on the steps on either side.
Kelly Bolter

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to our Music Submission page to learn how.

You’re weird, and that’s OK. Everyone is. That includes Brett Newski, who offers the reassurance that abnormal is normal — and maybe always has been — on new single “Freak Flag Fly.”

Newski has a new normal of his own, now releasing music under the name NEWSKI with Steve "Mr. Bicep" Vorass on drums and Sean "Tubs" Anderson on four-string (nicknames provided by the artist). Don’t let the all-caps moniker throw you; Newski’s vocals on “Freak Flag Fly” are warm and flowing, making it feel like all is right with the world — even if that world is slowly suffocating you:

Really like this suit and tie
Cuts my oxygen supply
All three sixty-five
You’re amused but not amused
When you bottle all that juice
No one’s normal in this life
Are you?

Everybody’s pretty weird on the inside
Gotta let that freak flag fly
Before you die
Before you lose your mind
Before you lose your mind

Cover art by Bocho

“Everyone is a bit of a weirdo deep down,” NEWSKI said in notes provided with the new track. “For many, their weirdoism is suppressed by environment; it can be a place of employment, societal structure, or a friend circle trapped deep in the suburbs next to an Applebees and two Texas Roadhouses. Even that strait n' arrow fella who's never said the F word is dying to shred his suit and tie and fly the freak flag a little.

“Let's be who we are. Weird is good. Let's get weird.”

NEWSKI has a whole album of weirdness and goodness that’s about to enter the world. “Freak Flag Fly” leads off Friend Rock, which features a prolific guest list: Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws, the Verve Pipe’s Brian Vander Ark and Guster’s Ryan Miller, to name a few.

Listen to the song here and on the new LP, which comes out April 7. You can also hear it live and in person that night when NEWSKI plays a celebratory album-release show at Anodyne on Bruce.