New Wizard Rock Compilation, “Gnargles,” Hoping to Modernize Genre for a Cause

Among the creative outlets within the Wizarding World fandom, the genre of wizard rock (or “wrock”) is one that has taken on many different forms over the years. The artists behind a new wizard rock compilation album set to be released over the next few weeks are planning to put their own spin on the concept, focusing on the variety of music that they think Hogwarts students might be listening to today. Even better? It’s all for a charitable cause!

Gnargles, a “Potterpop” compilation album developed by Cory Brent (also known as Corky Bratts) and his sister Jen, is set to be released via Bandcamp beginning today, June 18, with songs planned to be released through July 23. All proceeds from the album’s sales, apart from shipping costs, will be donated to the Trevor Project, a United States-based nonprofit that is now “the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.”

We had the opportunity to interview Cory Brent ahead of the release of the album’s first songs, premiering via MuggleNet! Brent has three songs on the album – “Prefect Love,” “Fell in Love with a Veela,” and “Keeper” – and there are 11 artists featured in all. These artists, Brent noted, all rejected statements made by J.K. Rowling about the trans community last summer and sought a way to show their support for those affected.

Of the group of artists whose work is included on Gnargles, Brent was highly complimentary.

They’re amazing! All 11 of us bring something different to this project stylistically. I’m in a pop project called Broken Bellows, Sean McVerry and Kaycie Satterfield are both established indie artists, and Rosie Dean and Peter McDermott are both currently dropping new music as well. We also have several newer artists who haven’t officially released any music before, so there’s just a huge range in backgrounds.

As for how the name Gnargles came about, Brent explained that it was going to be a solo project originally.

Gnargles was actually just going to be a solo project back when it started in the winter; I wanted to find a fun little name in the HP universe that fans would know of without being too heavily connected to the characters or storyline [sic]. As it is, it’s loosely connected to Luna Lovegood, who is very representative of someone who is an outsider in the books. That feeling of existing in the margins is something that I feel resonates with the spirit of the project. It’s also sort of an inside joke for people who [are] big enough fans of the series to know what Nargles [are]. And honestly? Throwing a silent ‘g’ in there was really just to kick things up a notch.

An image shared to the Gnargles Instagram page mentions that the artists were asked to consider, for instance, what modern wizarding musicians might sound like or what Hogwarts students might be listening to in their dormitories.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by @gnargles

 

In our interview with him, Brent expanded upon this idea:

Gnargles is different [from] the other Harry Potter projects simply because of the perspective the songs are written in. Rather than being sung from the perspective of Harry or other main characters, our focus was to write music for the average Hogwarts student. We wrote songs that students would be bumping in the common room after a long day of classes. The hope is that they’d crack a butterbeer, flip on their wizard radios/wizard Spotify and listen to these tracks.

He added that he hopes listeners will be able to enjoy the fictional universe we know and love in a new way.

I’d like to think that this project will provide a way for people to enjoy the Harry Potter universe while helping to support the community that was alienated by its author. Ideally, listeners will just get to pretend with us – to let their reality blur a bit – just close your eyes and pretend you’re on the way back to your dorm to unwind for the night. Let that sweet, sweet Potterpop wash over you!

Gnargles can be found on Instagram, and both digital downloads and physical merchandise will be available on the album’s Bandcamp. New songs will be released every Friday, ending July 23.

To facilitate donations to the Trevor Project and to ensure the transparency of the donation process, a dedicated GoFundMe page exists. Brent noted that anyone who donates $10.00 or more to the GoFundMe can receive a digital download of the full 14-track album for free. To claim it, users can send their email address to gnarglesmusic@gmail.com or provide that information via GoFundMe or Instagram.

Take a listen to three of the tracks from Gnargles – right here on MuggleNet!

 

 

You can find the full transcript of our interview with Cory Brent below.

Full Transcript with Cory Brent, Saturday, June 5, 2021

How were the artists featured on the album approached and/or selected?

As one of the artists myself, I was really lucky in that I already had a bit of a pool of talented musicians to reach out to. It came down to finding the artists who shared both a love of Harry Potter and an outrage over JK’s statements regarding the trans community. I believe we found a good balance of artists, all of whom really resonate with what we’re trying to do.

What can you tell us about the artists included on the album themselves?

They’re amazing! All 11 of us bring something different to this project stylistically. I’m in a pop project called Broken Bellows, Sean McVerry and Kaycie Satterfield are both established indie artists, and Rosie Dean and Peter McDermott are both currently dropping new music as well. We also have several newer artists who haven’t officially released any music before, so there’s just a huge range in backgrounds.

How and why was Gnargles chosen for the name of the album?

Gnargles was actually just going to be a solo project back when it started in the winter; I wanted to find a fun little name in the HP universe that fans would know of without being too heavily connected to the characters or storyline [sic]. As it is, it’s loosely connected to Luna Lovegood, who is very representative of someone who is an outsider in the books. That feeling of existing in the margins is something that I feel resonates with the spirit of the project. It’s also sort of an inside joke for people who [are] big enough fans of the series to know what Nargles [are]. And honestly? Throwing a silent “g” in there was really just to kick things up a notch.

Can you tell us a little bit more about why you chose the Trevor Project as the beneficiary of the proceeds from Gnargles?

It’s just a great cause. The whole point of this project is to support the LGBTQ community. These books were there for so many of us while we were growing up and they provided an excellent escape from the world a lot of us were struggling to fit into. To have the author of these books alienate that crowd of people is really saddening. To support The Trevor Project, which is a national LGBTQ suicide hotline, feels like the perfect way to let the community know that they’re not alone.

What do you feel makes this compilation album stand out from similar projects?

Gnargles is different [from] the other Harry Potter projects simply because of the perspective the songs are written in. Rather than being sung from the perspective of Harry or other main characters, our focus was to write music for the average Hogwarts student. We wrote songs that students would be bumping in the common room after a long day of classes. The hope is that they’d crack a butterbeer, flip on their wizard radios/wizard Spotify and listen to these tracks.

What do you hope listeners get out of Gnargles?

I’d like to think that this project will provide a way for people to enjoy the Harry Potter universe while helping to support the community that was alienated by its author. Ideally, listeners will just get to pretend with us - to let their reality blur a bit - just close your eyes and pretend you’re on the way back to your dorm to unwind for the night. Let that sweet, sweet Potterpop wash over you!

Is there anything else that you would like MuggleNet readers to know?

You find us on Instagram (@Gnargles)! We’re dropping new Gnargles songs every Friday starting June 18th and ending July 23rd. We’ll be selling digital downloads of the compilation AND physical merch (all for charity) in the coming weeks through our [B]andcamp (gnargles.bandcamp.com).

 

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Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.

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