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dark pop

Music

Jessamine Barham has released her consolingly baroque ballad ‘Only a Dream’

If you’re as aurally sensitive as me and your dreams are more lucid than your waking life lately, Jessamine Barham’s latest single ‘Only a Dream’ is going to sting.

The singer-songwriter wrote the theatrically baroque ballad with the same intent which simmers behind each of her works; to offer resonance to the lonely, ignored and “those who wish to know the hidden world behind the sound of silence”.

Any fans of Tori Amos, Amanda Palmer, and Abney Park will definitely want to get acquainted with Jessamine Barham’s consoling talent.

Only a Dream was released on January 22nd; it is now available to stream via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The secret plans of Voldermortis part 2: PleasePrettyLea takes revenge for being scorned on ‘Birthday Card’

After the fascinating dark-pop marvel of Yack from 2020, PleasePrettyLea returns to our lives to bring us a 2nd tale in her 3-part series on Voldermortis called ‘Birthday Card‘.

PleasePrettyLea is a spellbinding indie artist from Dudley in the West Midlands (UK), who sings with a mysteriously alluring style that makes your heart beat a bit faster than usual. She has different characters locked away for now and unleashes them when she feels the need.

This is a truly unique creative who doesn’t fit into any neatly-tied box at all. She is the one wrapping others into the box, if they have the unwise audacity to mess her around that is.

Her vocals grip you and make your whole body shiver as it feels like she is singing right at you. With an enthralling energy that has you frozen in time, the story of being played has you listening so closely. She is now watching her former lover who has decided that he no longer wants to be with her. Big mistake. She bought him a card for his Birthday but threw it away as she grew sick of his games and a new woman decided to rise up to haunt him into place.

Her vivid storytelling is absolutely incredible and you can only admire her honest style that is fused together perfectly by the spooky beat- that has you nervously looking around your room at times.

Birthday Card‘ from Midlands, UK-based dark-pop singer-songwriter PleasePrettyLea is one of the most bewitching tracks you will ever hear. She is completely original and her trance-like appeal has you wrapped in a state of seduction from head to toe and you can’t move, due to her magnetic energy force field. This is sensationally creative music that stimulates your soul and scares you a bit too.

This is a vital lesson to all men out there to never (ever) make a woman your plan b. Bring on Voldermortis part 3.

Stream this exhilarating heart clench of a track on Spotify and see more of her journey on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Brian Perrone – Be This Way: Soul-Satingly Powerful Indie Folk Pop

If it has been a while since you’ve heard a truly authentic voice, fall into Detroit singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Brian Perrone’s, moody alt-indie folk sophomore release, ‘Be This Way’.

If you could imagine the vocal stylings of Morrisey, Peter Murphy, Chris Isaacs and Elvis all melding over a piano-led art-rock instrumental arrangement, you’ll get an idea of what is in store when you hit play on this evocatively potent release.

The slight vocal vibrato ensures that the single resonates with as much raw emotion as it does with resolving aural comfort while the atypical progressions will leave you utterly transfixed. Quite honestly, Be This Way is up there with Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ and Cat Stevens’ ‘Wild World’ in terms of tracks which can leave you in a catatonic stupor with the sheer soul-driven power.

You can check out Be This Way for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The Dresden Persuasion – The Stars Have Faded: Phantasmally Consoling Darkwave Electronica

I Am the Skeleton King by The Dresden Persuasion

Any fans of Bowie, Empathy Test, Bauhaus and Type O Negative will want to jump on the latest album ‘I Am the Skeleton King’ from The Dresden Persuasion.

Track 1, ‘The Stars Have Faded,’ is a faultless introduction to the mesmerising German artist. From the first verse, it’s perceptible that their soundscapes are crafted to offer the listener just as much catharsis as they experienced when creating their hypnotic feats of Electronica.

The Darkwave single pairs phantasmal instrumentals with Craig Dickerson’s sensually absorbing vocals which ensure that with each progression, you’re immersed even deeper in the evocatively multifaceted release. The Stars Have Faded captures the complexity of nihilistic emotion while allowing your own emotions to slip away as they’re replaced with the consoling ones relayed to you in resounding whispers.

You can check out The Stars Have Faded via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Dark Electro Pop duo Anaté have debuted their emboldening single ‘Confusion’

Confusion’ is the darkly beguiling standout single from lockdown-born multi-national alt-electro-pop duo, Anaté’s forthcoming debut album, ‘Confessions’. It serves as the perfect introduction to the European artist’s empoweringly soulful style. Given the state of collective uncertainty which 2021 has instilled in psyches across the globe, it has ‘playlist staple’ written all over it.

Confusion opens up the conversation about duality and the conflict which courses between our intrinsic desire and the desires we sate because of societal expectation. There’s been plenty of talk in recent years about ‘living your best life’, Anaté put the emphasis on *your* with their exhilaratingly polished track which allows layers of overlapping vocals to trip over themselves, illustrating the essence of the track.

Confusion also lingers in the trippy downtempo production which mimics the disjointing nature of doubt and uncertainty. The glitchy beats are efficacious enough to resonate with your own experiences of confusion and offer consoling validation by the affirmation that the rest of the world feels exactly the same, despite pretences of togetherness.

With their ability to paint a picture of agitation while also allowing the listener to indulge a track which is powerful enough to remove the shackles of societal pressure, we’re all too eager to hear what the rest of the Trip-Hop-inspired album delivers.

Any fans of Hooverphonic, Morcheeba and Massive Attack will undoubtedly want this trailblazingly emboldening artist on their radar.

Anaté’s single, Confusion, is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

That burning smoke: Dark-pop singer-songwriter Edd Ward drops real song about how ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’

Edd Ward is back and this time he sings with so much real vividness about the horrific and seemingly endless fires in LA on ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding‘.

Etibar Gangur aka Edd Ward, is a record producer, singer-songwriter and evolving creative who started making music three years ago in his Aunt’s basement. Making music has helped Edd to get through personal issues as his depression was getting really bad at one stage. Keeping busy and creative has saved his life and the results are easy to see now as the hard work has certainly paid off.

With the legendary producer Benny Blanco assisting with the writing on this new track, the sky is the limit for this talented artist who is only getting better and better all the time.

He sings with such meaning and soul, the new school singer/rap style is brought forth with a Post Malone kind of tone that takes us for a plane ride over these terrible fires, They never seem to end and something needs to be done about it as it can’t carry on. So much has been damaged and burnt forever which is really upsetting this young musician. The feeling of being pushed to the ground while no one is really listening, is tough to bare and change has to happen with more songs like this.

Hollywood’s Bleeding‘ from the multi-skilled Edd Ward is a deep track about life and how things don’t make sense sometimes. When things are obvious to the eye and nothing seems to happen, frustration can boil over.

With a real talented for music and an introspective look inside the fireball, this is the type of song that makes other notice that things need to be better.

Hear this quality new single via Soundcloud and hear more via his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Ride the celestial highs and sonorous lows in L.H.B.’s standout single ‘You Are Fire’

If your Ambient Electro Pop playlists are crying out for some fresh ingenuity, Leeds, UK-based artist and producer L.H.B.’s standout single ‘You Are Fire’ won’t disappoint.

With celestial highs and sonorous lows within the artist’s dynamic vocal arsenal, you’ll feel every ounce of emotion poured into the contemplatively resounding single. As the lyrics conjure imagery which sits synergistically against the glitchy yet lush Synth Pop melodies, it is all too easy to get lost in the captivating mix.

Stylistically, it sits somewhere between the overwhelming prowess of Lady Gaga’s more stripped back hits and one of Empathy Test’s melancholically tinged works of Synth Pop. Expressively, L.H.B. is in a league of her own.

You can check out You Are Fire along with the rest of L.H.B.’s album Down Yonderland via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Music

Make room for GelaX’s Avant-Garde Electronic Rock earworm ‘Voodoo’ to creep in.  

GelaX

There was no forgetting Toronto-based artist GelaX after getting acquainted with the Alt-Rock outfit through their single, Mr. Square, now, they’re set to drop their debut EP ‘Dreamsonic’, any fans of alluringly scathing Dark Electro-Rock are going to want to hear it.

The standout track ‘Voodoo’ exhibits the best of GelaX’s signature empowering sound, this time, they’re making no bones about humiliating and eviscerating gas lighters and people who need to crush the sanity of others to feel like they’ve won. I’m sure we all know PLENTY of those.

While GelaX exude all of the commercial potential and accessibility of artists such as Massive Attack and Garbage, there is a darker Avant Garde edge to their tracks in the same vein of Industrial artists such as Angelspit and Emilie Autumn. Yet, Voodoo retains its rhythmic melodicism with the indulgent bends of the bass notes sitting alongside bluesy rock textures which come with a kick of kaleidoscopic Psych.

Voodoo is due for release along with the rest of GelaX’s debut EP on January 8th, 2021. In the meantime, you can check out their earlier releases via Bandcamp.

Keep up to date with their latest releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Music

Reject your nihilism with Etoile Marley’s alchemically eclectic track ‘LockItDown’

I would probably sell my soul to be able to exude as much confidence and positivity as Etoile Marley did in her latest release ‘LockItDown’ which throws back to 70s Funk Rock, weaves in elements of Neo Soul and finds its structure around Old School Hip Hop.

The jazzy-soul driven hit is practically an intervention, you’ll feel any lingering apathy or pessimism evading you as soon as you hit play. LockItDown is an accordantly high-vibe hit, but it makes no bones about confronting you with the very real fact that you’re in charge of your mentality.

Only an artist with an insurmountable amount of talent and vision could blend elements of Hip Hop, Blues Rock and Dark Pop to such an alchemic effect. It’s safe to say that you’re going to want her on your radar.

You can check out LockItDown via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Music

Pleaseprettylea – Yack!: Conceptually Avant-Garde Dark Pop

Pleaseprettylea

West Midlands, UK artist Pleaseprettylea is due to hit the airwaves with her artfully enticing Dark Pop single “Yack!” on November 25th. With elements of Hip Hop within the darkly hypnotic production, the single transcends genre as it unravels as a powerfully conceptual single which deals with the concept of sickness in relation to vulnerability, trauma and vices.

Pleaseprettylea is never afraid to tackle taboo or difficult concepts in her tracks, Yack! is definitely no exception. It unravels as a theatrical breath of fresh air in a time when baseless information around mental health and self-care seems to be found in every corner of the internet. But with Pleaseprettylea’s Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in counselling, you can fall into the soundscape and find trust in the artist’s wisdom and alluring sound which shares the same immense level of expression as artists such as Bjork, PJ Harvey, Amanda Palmer and Kate Bush.

Yack! is due for release from November 25th, pre-save the track on all major streaming platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast