Browsing Tag

dark pop

Chelsea Silva delivered the ultimate exposition on tentative anxiety with her canderous alt-indie-pop single, frontline

Chelsea Silva

After the Australian alt-pop singer-songwriter, Chelsea Silva ensnared us with her devilishly quirky 2022 single, Hades Has a Daughter, she’s shown us an equally disarming new side to her cogent talent with ‘frontline’.

With 70s folk pop tones behind her soft indie pop vocals in the intro which build into scintillating reminiscences to the likes of Lorde while sharing the same command of dark and gothic vocal ranges as Evanescent and Nightwish while never losing the stylish pop edges, frontline is definitively a triumph.

Silva set the lyrical bar high with her former releases. She transcended it with elevated grace in frontline. Exuding a tentative sense of disquiet uncertainty that grips us all while we attempt to work around anxiety and the landmines that our disparate society leaves us, only a sociopath would fail to get on the same page as Silva and resonate with every soul-shivering line.

Frontline will officially release on January 31st. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sarah Anne Fernandez is phantasmically demure in her antithesis of an electro-pop breakup track, Nightmare

Sarah Anne Fernandez

‘Nightmare’ is the phantasmically demure electro-pop hit from Sarah Anne Fernandez, which slices through the vulnerability with razor-sharp wit to help anyone coming to terms with romantic loss to leave their feelings of  loss in the dirt.

The artfully moody hit definitively proves that clever meta-wordplay goes a long way in quashing the usual feelings of grief. How could anyone feel sad when succumbing to the vision of haunting their ex in their nightmares while they are lying next to their new romantic victim?

It’s the ultimate antithesis to the usual pop breakup track that affirms your sadness as it flips the script and liberates you with seductively dark imagery. The NYC artist is definitively one to watch in 2023.

Nightmare will hit the airwaves on January 13th. Check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Imelda Gabs sophisticated the pop genre to the nth degree with her mournfully minimalistic neo-classic pop single, RECKLESS

‘RECKLESS’ is the latest intensely compelling single from the pop innovator Imelda Gabs. From a mournfully minimalistic neo-classic prelude of minor piano keys, the contemporary ballad that comes to terms with a disposition of recklessness seamlessly builds; utilising the dynamic vocal range of Imelda Gabs to orchestrate one of the most strident crescendos to ever grace the pop genre.

The pain exhibited borders on primal as the independent singer and producer gave an intimate view of her own shortcomings to universalise the phenomenon of letting our inner saboteur lead us to a position of self-doubt, regret, and inner hostility.

The 24-year-old Belgian and Congolese artist grew up in Switzerland, where she studied piano, violin and signing before evolving as a composer and songwriter. Since 14, she has been gracing prestigious stages amongst world-renowned artists before she started to focus on her recorded music, and my God, the airwaves were crying out for her elevated balletic grace.

Watch the cinematic official music video for RECKLESS on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Chelsea Silva reclaimed power in her vindicatingly catchy electro-pop debut, hades has a daughter

Alt-indie-pop singer-songwriter Chelsea Silva spilt fabled glamour all over the standout single, hades has a daughter, from her spell-binding EP, But What if You Fly?

Using Greek Mythology for her narratively clever exposition on how this mortal world puts kinks in our soul, the Sydney, Australia luminary newcomer proved that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Not even the god of the underworld can match a woman determined to reclaim power and question, “why do the happiest ones leave a trail behind?”.

The catchy, moody electro-pop beats playfully pop around Silva’s sultry theatrical vocal timbre to ensure that everyone who tunes into hades has a daughter gets a shot of vindication through the quirky arrestive sensation of a debut. She shimmers with all of the star power of Marina and the Diamonds while ensuring her own autonomy is the centre of gravity in the infectious hit.

hades has a daughter will be available to stream from November 30th. Catch the earworm on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tokyo’s Sumi has made her dark electronic debut with the hooky anxiety exposition, Closing In

Tokyo-based singer-songwriter Sumi made a strong debut with her dark electro-pop single, Closing in. By utilising metaphors that expose the most insidious aspects of anxiety in the imaginatively amalgamated soundscape that blends her sonic roots into the contemporary moody pop trends, Sumi became one of the most promisingly individual artists on the airwaves.

The emotions in Closing In may be intimately inspired, but in 2022, Sumi is speaking for the masses as we battle with the sharp claws of imposter syndrome and the claustrophobia of reality closing in, leaving our dreams in the rubble of the cortisol spikes.

Before making her solo debut, during her stint in LA, Sumi played with several bands and collaborated with artists and producers to create songs on network shows such as Naked and Afraid, Teen Titans Go and the Ellen Degeneres Show. We can’t wait to see how far her solo career takes her.

Closing In was officially released on September 21st and is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LÌONADH delivered poetry in orchestral motion in their single, European Man

Taken from the debut EP, I Cannot Go on Reaching, LÌONADH’s achingly artful lead single, European Man, consumed us with the emotion it was eloquently constructed through. The poet-fronted Glaswegian ensemble with a classical string section at their disposal may be fresh from their inception, but they are already garnering critical acclaim and causing catholic outcries.

Before the launch of their debut EP, the poet, Sean Lìonadh, shared his viral poem, Time for Love, which has amassed over 16 million streams, been published by BBC Scotland and driven the petulantly pious to frenzy by speaking for the LGBTQ+ community. Anyone that upsets the archaically moralistic applecart is instantly venerable in my book. There’s no taste quite like the salty tears of zealots.

As for the single, with the chill-imparting spoken word verses, around Nick Cave-Esque keys and operatic vocal grace, LÌONADH delivered pure art. If you thought that Arab Strap’s comeback album was something, delve into the hymnal sanctity of European Man.

European Man is now available to stream on Spotify and SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ariana Molkara spellbound us with the spectral lexicon in her orchestral pop single, Boogeyman

LA’s Ariana Molkara became the spooky pop supreme with her orchestrally spellbinding single, Boogeyman. By using spectral lexicon to allude to the haunting nature of breakups, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter and actress staked her claim as one of the most talented songwriters of her generation.

Between the lines “now I’m stuck seeing your ghost, except I want you to haunt me for forever, you being gone is the horror” and “Hey Mr Mr, how about we do something sinister” the imagery grips you with a strength far greater than the fear instilled by the most iconic horror flicks.

Of course, there was no forgetting Molkara from her debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly, which introduced us to her effortless pitch perfection and magnetic vocal presence. Through Boogeyman, Molkara well and truly came into her artful own.

Check out Boogeyman for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Klowniac went down the rabbit hole with his playfully pathological single, Mad Hatter

With a twisted vibe that sits somewhere in between Insane Clown Posse and the carnivalesque Avant-Garde brand of Fable Cry with a few dark pop tendencies thrown into the mix, Klowniac’s take on Melanie Martinez’s Mad Hatter, is a true embracement of autonomy. The playfully pathological lyrics around the helter-skelter sonics are an alchemically enlivening sensory experience for the mentally perturbed.

The airwaves are littered with tracks that advocate individuality. But there is still a very narrow parameter of how neurodivergent you can be and be accepted in a society that is all about mental health acceptance until you act TOO weird. The Klown-inspired multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer created the ultimate earworm for anyone who knows just how limited tolerance actually is.

Mad Hatter is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Classic pop meets dark EBM in Shards’ latest single, I Know You Feel the Same

The up-and-coming solo alt-pop artist, Shards, became the voice of melancholic reason in his latest spacey electro-pop track, I Know You Feel the Same, which contrasts dark EBM-style beats with classic pop harmonies as it cries out for mutuality.

The line “I’m so in love I don’t want to be alone” is a poignant testament to his inhibited approach to lyricism, an approach that will undoubtedly see him go far with his romantically scorned fans.

While there is some room for improvement on the mastering of the single and the synergy between the vocal melodies and the beats could be improved, I Know You Feel the Same is still a hard hitter of a single that is powerful enough to test your soul’s capacity to feel.

I Know You Feel the Same is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The One: Jessamine Barham just wants to escape from this hell on Bow Down

Sensing that she needs to get away from a selfish lover who isn’t able to comprehend how poorly they’re acting, Jessamine Barham is in top form with a sensational single that will find your heart beating faster on Bow Down.

Jessamine Barham is a San Diego, California-based indie dark pop/folk singer songwriter who performs with a tenacious edge that will get you listening intently.

Sizzling with a final goodbye wave to the past, which shall echo from the rooftops, Jessamine Barham is a brave soul who has courageously let us into her deepest emotions. Closing the door on someone who showed their devilish side too often, we are shown a story about having the self-love to walk away before it’s too late.

Bow Down from San Diego, California-based indie dark pop/folk singer songwriter Jessamine Barham is a brave single that will get you dusting off the self-doubts. Sung with a real earnestness that will get your whole body inspired to run far from any darkness, this is a real stunner that is filled with admirable honesty.

Listen up on YouTube and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen