Premiere: Brooklyn’s City Dress Debuts with a Hug in Heartfelt & Dazzling Song “Showing Up”

Showing Up - City Dress
A lush, enveloping droplet of dulcet musical sunshine, “Showing Up” and its Liana Finck- illustrated video prove a heartfelt and moving introduction for Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter City Dress.
Stream: “Showing Up” – City Dress



This song began as an ode to friendship but has since evolved into a source of motivation during hard times. It’s a reminder to show up not only for the people I care about, but for myself as well.

City Dress’ debut single arrives like the hug each of us needs now, more than ever. A lush, enveloping droplet of dulcet musical sunshine, “Showing Up” proves a heartfelt and moving introduction for the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter.

Showing Up - City Dress

Showing Up – City Dress

When nobody is coming out for you
And you’re standing alone
like a kid after school

Honey, I know
I’ve been there kicking stones
Don’t act like I’m not showing up for you
Honey, I’ll be showing up for you
Times churning beginnings into ends
The choices we make
shaping where we will not bend

Time moves fast and slow
Changing not at all
then changed before we know it
Hate and love to feel this young
Can’t believe we’re still growing up
Don’t act like I’m not showing up for you
Honey, I’ll be showing up for you

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Showing Up,” the emotional debut single from Christina Skramstad’s brand new project, City Dress (independently out May 1, 2020). Produced by Johnny Simon Jr. (the guitarist for Wilsen) and with video illustration by the brilliant Liana Finck (best known for her cartoons for The New Yorker, and a constant personal source of thought-provoking amusement during these trying times), “Showing Up” is haunting in all the right ways. Ambient brushstrokes of indie folk and bedroom pop collide in a dazzling array of sound that conveys the emotional depths and ramifications of a blossoming partnership and inevitable life changes. It’s a sterling introduction for an artist who seems to have no problem opening herself up to the greatest extent possible through song, sharing her personal truths and her life story in ways that help us connect and perhaps better understand our own similar experiences.



“Showing Up” conveys one such life transition that, if it hasn’t happened to you yet, will surely come in due time.

“I wrote ‘Showing Up’ after my mother was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia and I started dating my long-term partner,” Skramstad tells Atwood Magazine. “These two major life events shifted my priorities and changed how I showed up for my friends. ‘Showing Up’ is a response to a tension that built up with my best friend as we navigated walking deeper into the wonders and hardships of adulthood. It speaks to the insecurities that follow us as we get older. There are still so many humbling moments when we feel small and vulnerable, just like we did when we were young. Those feelings can bring both pleasure and pain. I wanted to tap into those emotions by showing the struggle between being present for our lives and the hard work it takes to honor the feelings and relationships that matter to us. This song began as an ode to friendship but has since evolved into a source of motivation during hard times. It’s a reminder to show up not only for the people I care about, but for myself as well.”

There are still so many humbling moments when we feel small and vulnerable, just like we did when we were young. Those feelings can bring both pleasure and pain.



City Dress

City Dress

City Dress captures the inner tension and emotional strain in her words: As solemn guitars and piano weave a stirring, spacious wall of sound, the artist not only confesses her recognition of her change in behaviors, but also stands up for herself with the resolve that she knows what she is doing – that these decisions are right for her. Whilst apologetic, this is not an “I’m sorry, I’ll change,” so much as it is an “I’m sorry, but this is what it is.” Good on her:

Honey, I know
I’ve been there kicking stones
Time moves fast and slow
Changing not at all
then changed before we know it
Hate and love to feel this young
Can’t believe we’re still growing up
Don’t act like I’m not showing up for you
Honey, I’ll be showing up for you



still from City Dress' "Showing Up" music video, illustrated by Liana Finck

still from City Dress’ “Showing Up” music video, illustrated by Liana Finck

With visual narrative and illustrations by Liana Finck and video work by Glenn Gallagher, City Dress’ visual accompaniment is a stunning minimalist expression of her song’s story as well as its depth.

“I daydreamed about collaborating with Liana Finck, a cartoonist and illustrator whose work I fell in love with from reading The New Yorker,” Skramstad explains. “I enjoy and appreciate the perspective, sensitivity, and humor she brings to her art, and felt that she could create something special to accompany the song. After working up the courage, I reached out and with little direction, Liana created a visual narrative of her design that perfectly supported ‘Showing Up’ and its meaning. Within a week my partner, Glenn Gallagher, was busy animating her illustrations. I’m a huge fan of her work and so happy with how the music video came together.”

See kids? All you have to do is ask – and you very well may receive. Finck’s work with “Showing Up” feels familiar – she is, of course, something of a staple of American culture – and what’s truly stunning about her illustration is how little she needs to draw, in order to express such grandiose, immensely deep, universally-relatable feelings. A lone figure, standing neck-deep in a pool of water; the magical touch someone brings by simply reaching out and being there; the incredible sensation of being vulnerable with someone, letting them hold you and soothe you as you open up to them; and of course, the power of a hug. The latter strikes quite deep in the present COVID-19 quarantine, as so many who watch this video are unable to hug, let alone be with the ones they love; what a striking reminder of what it means to feel a connection.

These visuals breathe so much life into a song that already resonates on its own. Together as one, they make for a music video we can’t wait to experience over and over again, releasing our own anxiety and pent-up stress along the way.



City Dress

City Dress



This is only the beginning for Christina Skramstad’s City Dress, but we have no doubt that she will go far. Dive into the Brooklyn artist’s debut single exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

I will always be your ride
I will always be your ride
Schools out feeling baby, summertime
I will always be your ride
I will always be your ride
Stream: “Showing Up” – City Dress




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Showing Up - City Dress

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com