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Dark Folk

Music

Alt Electronica artist Daughter of Dawn has released her debut album ‘Crushed into Dust by the Weight of the World’.

The captivatingly melodic guitar tones in the first single ‘Juniper Boughs Collide Upon My Shores’ perfectly sets the tone for Daughter of Dawn’s debut alt-electronica album ‘Crushed into Dust by the Weight of the World’. It is an existentialist’s playlist staple.

The dark electronica release comes with a cavernously cathartic feel, you can’t help but be pulled into the trippy progressions which glitch their way through lashings of reverb and laceratingly efficacious guitar hooks. Daughter of Dawn may play with the cold and chillier colours on the tonal palate, but there’s still a soulful empyreal air to the atmospheric sound.

Daughter of Dawn is the latest project by Minnesota-based trans artist, artist and producer, Emma Goldman Grey, a semi-professional musician who has toured the world in punk, metal and hardcore bands such as Hive, Contentious and Malachi. With her solo career, she takes inspiration from the likes of Chelsea Wolfe and other artists who experiment with evocative and ethereally dark elements to construct entrancing soundscapes with the capacity to heal.

Crushed into Dust by the Weight of the world is now available to stream via Spotify.

Connect with Daughter of Dawn via Facebook & Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Music

Alt-folk alchemist, Bill E Daly, has pulled light from the darkness with ‘The World is Waiting’

In the same way you wouldn’t want to strike up a conversation with someone that had nothing to say, we should be mindful of which artists we take the time to listen to, any amount of time spent listening to Irish singer-songwriter, Bill E Daly will be well-invested.

The lifelong artist may have only just started to make waves as a solo artist, but after decades honing in on their craft and increasing the value of their introspection, there has been no better time to get acquainted with his unique alt-folk sound.

Their latest single ‘The World is Waiting’ was penned during the first lockdown in 2020 after sympathetically witnessing the impact of lockdown on young adults. While many struggle to see past their own plight, Bill E Daly extended his compassion to some of those hardest hit by the pandemic. Everything feels like it’s the end of the world to those still adjusting to adulthood, the levels of despair while the world stands still is unimaginable.

With reminiscences to Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and other alchemists of alt-folk who aren’t afraid to experiment with darker tones on the sonic palette, The World is Waiting atmospherically encapsulates the dull view which so many have taken upon the world. Lyrically, Bill E Daly finds unique ways to inspire optimism and instil confidence.

It’s a stunning single transpired from just as stunning sentiment.

The World is Waiting is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Vincent Sonder lights up our day with ‘Camel Lights’

In his day job, Vincent Sonder – the alter-ego of celebrated filmmaker Joe Connor – has worked with bands as diverse as The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, Coldplay, Paul Weller, The Maccabees, and Placebo (among others), and that shoulder-rubbing pedigree has obviously stood him in good stead when it comes to his own creative flow. Recorded in 2017 but only now available across streaming services, ‘Vincent Sonder’ the album is a gorgeous, glorious affair, and ‘Camel Lights’ is a perfect introduction.

Beautiful, exquisite piano accompanies Sonder’s mellow storytelling vocal, the lyrical flow creating a perfect mood of contemplation and reverie, dreamlike and meditative, with a narrative feel that tells the story of ‘the memory of a man that I can’t find’. It’s bewitching, evocative, and anecdotal, made all the more memorable by the interplay with the second, female vocal intertwined between Sonder’s lead and those plaintive minor piano chords; you listen, and you can practically see cigarette smoke drifting from a discarded ashtray, monochrome, in the rain. It’s beautiful.

Follow Vincent Sonder on Instagram; hear ‘Camel Lights’, and the rest of the album, on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Michael Golden sends a haunting Alt Folk Christmas card with ‘Some Kind of Holiday’

Michael Golden’s latest single ‘Some Kind of Holiday’ perfectly captures that contemplative morosity-tinged mood that everyone has the proclivity to fall into the festive season. Through the sparse lyrics and haunting choral tones, there’s an invaluable affirmation that the state of seasonally-inspired forlorn introspection is universal, regardless of what facades are worn.

The tenderly compelling single may be the ultimate antithesis of a Christmas single, but it is all the better for it. It is performed without pretence, odious capitalistic desire or cliché wistfulness. Instead, it brings emotions to the surface which you wouldn’t have independently experienced, it allows you to get lost within the romantic imagery in the lyricism, it allows you to shed tears for all the right reasons.

The official music video for Some Kind of Holiday premiered on December 23rd. You can check it for yourselves via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Mauri Dark – Poison Woman: Cinematically Dark Alt Folk

If you could imagine what it would sound like if Nick Cave and Johnny Cash aurally met in the middle, you’ll get a good idea of what is on offer in Finnish singer-songwriter, Mauri Dark’s, latest single ‘Poison Woman’ taken from their LP ‘Dreams of a Middle-Aged Man’.

With rhythms which will throw into a dark Western while sending a few postcards from 70s Folk, Poison Woman is an eclectic smorgasbord of familiarity, rearranged to offer undiluted ingenuity. It’s as immersive as any Tarantino film but easily eclipses them on an emotional level. The sonorously low vocal timbre coalesces with the baritone guitar, setting a dismally cinematic tone which draws you into the melancholic mindset the single was written with. But with the level of emotion on display, listening to Poison Woman is anything but an exercise in morosity.

You can check out Poison Woman via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

LEE DAVEY has painted a stark meta portrait with their swampy demonic folk rock single ‘Incubus’

We’ve all had spare time to spend with our demons in recent months, Alt Rock artist LEE DAVEY spent plenty of time mentally frolicking demonic spirits before penning their darkly hypnotic single ‘Incubus’.

Nick Cave comparisons are easy to make, especially with the ‘red right hand’ lyrical reference but allowing you to believe that Incubus is solely an assimilative work would be nothing short of criminal. The mythology-laden lyricism allows LEE DAVEY to transcend the Murder Folk genre and enter the realm of Demonic Folk Rock. Expect slithering rhythms, tinges of swampy Americana Alt Folk and searing solo work which affirms that LEE DAVEY’s prowess as an instrumentalist parrels their abilities as a lyricist. The dark imagery he paints with does more than just leave a macabre canvas behind. It exposes the darkest corners of our minds, the ones we can barely look into ourselves, let alone invite others to see.

You can check out Incubus for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Slow Capital take us ‘Underground’ with this beautifully alluring acoustic story.

Slow Capital is Andrew Dailey, a filmmaker from Kansas City, MO, who is currently based out of Brooklyn, NY; a precursor to a six-track EP planned for early 2021, Slow Capital’s second single ‘Underground’ is a beautifully mature fingerpicked acoustic guitar track, mellow and delicate, alluring in its simplicity, and carried along by Dailey’s poetic, storytelling lyrical content and up-front vocal delivery.

At just over three minutes long, ‘Underground’ is a perfect piece of alt-folk, confessional, poetic, a narrative tale to music with a harmonious, melodic guitar line and a gentle, tender vocal. You can hear ‘Underground’ on Spotify, and follow Slow Capital on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Greet the Futility of Existence in Nero Kane’s Darkly Hypnotic Second Album “Tales of Faith and Lunacy”

Italian Dark Psych Folk artist Nero Kane released their sophomore album, ‘Tales of Faith and Lunacy’, on October 30th, following on from the plaintively arid psychedelia in their debut album ‘Love in a Dying World’.

After tracks from their debut album quickly fell into my ‘on repeat’ playlist on Spotify, there was no preparing me for how dark this album was going to be. The droning walls of noise leave you utterly paralysed by the intensity of the emotion. It’s so much more than just senseless nihilism, it’s a series of reflective admissions made regrettably, but sincerely all the same.

Nero Kane

Despite melancholy being a recurring theme, the expansive release offers a myriad of introspective wormholes to slip into. Each track will surprise you more than the last. For anyone that believes that albums are outdated formats, Tales of Faith and Lunacy will prove you wrong. It tears you from the 21st century and invites you to explore a gothic American western landscape constructed by hypnotic minor-key psych-folk infusions with the ability to subjugate your entire consciousness. The space left between the notes in the looped riffs allow your fear, disenchantment and isolation to coalesce with the soundscape.

Lord Won’t Come sets such a devastating tone for the album. The title becomes a mantra as it confirms your fears; there is no salvation which follows the traversing of our seemingly-condemned quite literally scorched earth. Bauhaus and Nick Cave reminiscences are easy to conjure, but Nero Kane has an authentically unique ability to console you, even when he’s telling you that your soul is damned.

Track 2, Mechtild, where you can truly start to appreciate Nero Kane for his inclination to look outside of music for inspiration. Mechtild was inspired by the life of a Christian medieval mystic, the drawn-out notes resonate like celestially meditative whispers implanted by a lover, chilling but passionate all the same.

There isn’t a skippable track on the album but Track 4, Magdalene, offers an unparalleled level of dizzying entrancement as it sonically effervesces. It is the epitome of psychedelia; it almost makes you question your ability to cognitively function as it consumes you. Atop of the viscerally ensnaring kaleidoscopic tones, you’ll find Samantha Stella Stella’s sermonic vocals which will leave you floored by their gracefully convictive command.

Nero Kane

The release poignantly paints a picture of how lunacy has the potential to be in everything we do and everything we feel, from the following of faith to battling self-inflicted psychological destitution. But perhaps more imperatively, the album highlights the danger of going into yourself, only to find madness. After what we have all been through in 2020, Tales of Faith and Lunacy unravels as the cultural sanctity we’ve all been crying out for.

Tales of Faith and Lunacy is due for release on October 30th via Nasoni Records.

Grab a vinyl LP (Black or Crystal Clear), CD Digipack, limited edition cassette or digital copy via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nero Kane

 

Music

Brian Perrone makes a powerful Dark Folk apology with “Sorry”

Brian Perrone

Brian Perrone’s latest darkly moody Indie track “Sorry” is one of the sincerest apologies I’ve ever heard. Any Dark Folk/Murder Folk are sure to be as enamoured and evocatively bruised by Sorry as we were.

From the first verse, you’ll be hooked in the lovelorn narrative tale of regret and longing. The progressive single holds plenty of space for the artist’s seamlessly unexpected evolutions in tone and style which consistently uses complex time signatures. From delicate Neo-classical keying to Jazz-style improvisation, Sorry has a smorgasbord of inventive ingenuity to throw your way. Yet, in its essence, it remains a transfixing resolving soundscape with plenty of soul on offer.

Sorry is due for official release on August 28th, you’ll be able to check it out via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Sidetrack Walker – Will to Leave: Viscerally Atmospheric Progressive Neo-Classical

https://sidetrackwalker.bandcamp.com/track/will-to-leave

Berlin-based artist Sidetrack Walker has released their most captivating soundscape to date. Expect the human psyche to stare back at you when you hit play on Will to Leave which is just one of the tracks found on their latest album The Art of Starvation.

The Neo-Classical melodies perfectly capture tense, fraught and honest emotion. Under Sidetrack Walker’s deft orchestration, the progressions spill more resonance than even the most meta of lyrics ever could.

But what blew me away the most about Will to Leave was the sheer distinction. Sidetrack Walker’s tendency to pull from a myriad of genres such as Neo-Classical, Dark Folk and Prog Rock allowed their sound to spill an alchemic amount of atmospheric intensity.

You can stream and download Sidetrack Walker’s single Will to Leave along with the rest of their album which was released on April 24th for yourselves via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast