PJ Harvey will want to eat her heart out to the latest orchestrally raw single, You Call That Love? by the Australian songstress, Grace Woodroofe, who always dials the beguile up until it is off the scale.
With the ‘Fever’ of Peggy Lee, the dark gyrating rhythmics of Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand and arcane layers of etherealism lending themselves to the artful scintillation, the Perth-born, Melbourne-based artist blended light and dark to prove that emboldenment is always a possibility after your power has been nefariously stripped away by someone who needed to weaken you to gain control.
With the line “You call that love? How does it feel to call that love?” worked into the mix, lyrical blows scarcely punch harder. Even if her abuser doesn’t acknowledge how she efficaciously disempowered them by holding a mirror to them for a stark reflection of their sociopathy, the rest of the world is listening and learning.
After supporting Ben Harper on the Italian leg of his tour, Woodroofe primed herself to exhibit her freshly honed sound after an eight-year release break; You Call That Love is only a taste of the commanding alchemy that is set to come in the form of her upcoming sophomore LP release. In a bid to help more women find their voice following emotional abuse, she has also written an essay to accompany her latest single.
You Call That Love was officially released on August 17th; stream it on Spotify.
With a similar tonal gravitas to Editors’ earlier records, RV Escape is here with their chillingly morose sophomore single, View-Master, taken from their forthcoming LP, Songs for Failure & Decay. Based on that title, the debut album is set to be the timeliest one of this era of dystopia.
The ethereally atmospheric synths, delay-distorted guitars, ragged basslines and harmonically drawling vocals envelop you in the hazy nostalgia of Krautrock that is cut with poppier inclinations to ensure View-Master is a release that you feel endlessly compelled to return to.
For any disillusioned existentialists looking for the ultimate escapism music that vindicates ennui while absolving the omnipresent bitterness, this artfully murky cry into the void hits the spot with beguiling precision.
View-Master will officially release on September 30th. Hear it on Spotify.
After a dark chamber pop-style piano prelude, R†o’s life-affirmingly cathartic single, The Wolf & The Deer, starts to unravel as a beguiling electronic-folk-meets-art-pop reminder of every living thing’s mortality. If that comes across as morbid, it says more about your perception of life than it does about this exploratively provoking release.
The single was loosely mused by the death of the London-based alternative artist’s great-grandfather. It serves as a meta ode to his family, by using the wolf as a parable for death and the deer as a metaphor for life. Dark and edgy doesn’t often come hand in hand with spirituality. Naturally, we’re obsessed with R†o and his stunningly layered harmonies and his ability to bring beauty to the macabre. We can’t wait to hear what follows.
The Wolf & The Deer was officially released on March 11th. It is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.
Australian singer-songwriter and producer StarAV has made his debut with his cover single, Lava Lamp. The death-musing original was heavy with pensive malaise, yet StarAV’s rendition finds brand-new ways to pull melancholy out of the cathartically bleak soundscape.
Lava Lamp is the first single to be released from his new project that curated a series of songs that explore grief, loss, death, isolation and the discomfort of growth. While cover projects can snobbishly be looked down upon, the overarching exposition of aching grief across the collection of singles acts as a sombre sign of the times where the only emotions that seem to register are the ones that hurt. If you’re looking for comfort in the isolation the project explores, you won’t be disappointed.
StarAV’s cover of Lava Lamp will be available to stream from October 31st. You can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.
Staying true to their moniker, Dead Writers delivered poetry that scarcely feels of this century in their latest single, Among Spirits. If Oscar Wilde himself resurrected to write post-punk lyrics, they wouldn’t be as up to scratch as the arresting lexicon in this cutting track.
Right from the intro, the cavernous guitar notes hook you into the emotionally layered single that alchemically fuses melancholy with defiant bursts of energy that emulates the kind of euphoria that only those who have fought for it can truly understand.
When the chorus hits, Dead Writers prove that they have the rare ability to make morosity anthemic, and things get even sweeter in the instrumental interlude. Against the bitter-sweet piano melody, the guitars start to blazon the track with virtuosic rock n roll licks that feed Manic Street Preachers-Esque nuances into the mix.
Paradoxically, the vocals contain their suave indie-rock poise throughout the switch-ups between the evocative dark timbre that will be a hit with any fans of the Cure and the strident rock vocals that could easily fill a stadium. By all accounts, the London-based debonair powerhouse delivered an instant post-punk classic with Among Spirits.
The official video will premiere on October 29th; you can check it out for yourselves via YouTube.
Any fans of Mazzy Star, Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen will want to experience the deliciously morose tones in Nolle’s latest shoegaze single, congratulations, which comes with absorbing dissonant turbulence as it explores the effects of gas lightning through arrestingly poetic lyrics.
The concluding line, “now you can laugh at my art like my pain, guaranteed I’ve already done the same to myself”, affirms just how vulnerable of a release this is and without vulnerability, art is essentially meaningless.
At the age of 21-years-old, the Calgary-born, Vancouver-based expressionist and songwriter is already outshining the competition in terms of lyrical maturity and ability to sonically reflect the jarring instability of the emotions we can walk away from relationships with.
Congratulations officially released on August 6th; you can check out the single by heading over to the artist’s official website.
‘Black Fur’ is the latest single released by the Winchester, VA-based alt-indie-rock four-piece Azure Wolf. The ethereal emboldening earworm carries nuances of the alt 90s, especially in the cool and cutting guitar tones which carry reminiscence to Neil Halstead’s (Slowdive). You’ll also pick up on grunge textures in the dark layers of the driving and all-consuming release that tackles a subject rarely spoken of, let alone sung about.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. That’s exactly what you’ll be reminded of as you listen to forming member, songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead singer Victoria Backle use her powerful command of harmony to draw you into the track that was inspired by personal experience.
Her rich and warming vocal timbre is the perfect contrast to the chilling instrumental tones. If Paul Banks threw away the apathy and emanated strength in spite of suffering, Interpol would carry the same feisty atmospheric air found in Black Fur.
Black Fur is the fourth release from Azure Wolf since they made their debut in 2020 with the single, Dancing Bears. Their debut LP will arrive in the fall; before that, you can expect new singles to land regularly from this luminary artist.
‘Cold Room’ is the sophomore release from American Indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Bohle, you might want to grab a jumper before you hit play, describing the single as ‘chilling’ seems like a crass understatement.
The dark indie ballad offers so much more than the introspection alluding to loss and loneliness, you will feel those very same isolated agonised emotions crawl beneath your ribs as Cold Room cinematically cruises through its progressions.
Nick Bohle’s experience as an acclaimed actor discernibly bled into the soundscape which unravels as theatrical aural storm, yet with the sleek and atmospheric production, even when Cold Room hits its most tremulous peak it remains mellifluous and simply mesmeric.
You can check out Cold Room for yourselves via Spotify.
There’s no better introduction to the Psychedelically-inclined Dark Punk duo, West Wickhams’ sound than the horror noir single ‘Where the Creatures Rule’.
The entrancingly dark single will undoubtedly enthral any fans of Bauhaus, while the accompanying music video pays ode to one of the greatest horror films ever made, Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’, obviously.
I can’t help but feel that Where the Creatures Rule has very ‘2020’ connotations. As the artistically inclined creatively document the movements of the masses, the populous prove that Romero’s anxiety about unrest and wariness in the 60s was spot on.
You can check out the official video to Where the Creatures Rule via YouTube.
Yellow Nymphos is Makain Wiginton (guitar, synths, vocals) and Calvin Brown (Bass, Vocals, Synths) from New Orleans – plus drums from ‘The Machine’, of course.
‘A Handful of Something Sticky’ is three minutes of dark, moody alt-rock from their ‘Crooked Inhale of The Bung Donkey’ album, all meandering bassline, deep-spoken vocals, and a ripped-speaker-cones-distortion of a guitar-part for the finale.
Released, appropriately, on Halloween, and coming on like tarmac jelly or jellybean-flavoured crisps, this is disturbing, unsettling indie for people who like their music just a little more left-field than the acres of generic, pseudo-alternative sanitization that passes for the majority of modern rock n’ roll.
‘A Handful Of Something Sticky’ might just possibly be the aural equivalent of waking up post-party to find one of your eyebrows has been shaved whilst you slept, but since when has that EVER been the sign of a bad thing?