The darkwave synth-pop genre saw a surge of quirky innovation after the release of the debut single, Do you wanna dance, from the Italian self-proclaimed nerdy spiritual data scientist, Yarsha.
Starting with a similar stylistically moody edge as Depeche Mode and New Order, you’re drawn in by the familiarity. Once you are safely nestled into the synth-carved soundscape, that’s when the indulgent obscurities start to manifest in the distorted vocal layers and caustic effects which amass around the 80s synths. By that point, you’re suitably hooked in the paradox of so much personality breathing through an electronica soundscape, which progressively flirts with the more mechanical proclivities of industrial. It’s enough to make Covenant sound lobotomised.
To answer the question proposed by the title, as long as this track is playing, it is a resounding yes for me. We can’t wait to hear what the rest of the upcoming debut album contains.
Do you wanna dance is now available to stream on Spotify.
The Lynchian oscillating effects and reminiscence to Big Black Delta make Static Null’s latest single, Blister, an instant feat of atmospherically dystopic beguile.
Instead of just lacing light with dark, Static Null fused warm reverb with cuttingly cold tones and opened the narrative between man and machine. Dark ambience may have been hitting the airwaves by the smorgasbord in 2022, but Static Null is a caustic cut above the rest.
His work subversively implants what it means to be human in soundscapes inspired by his idyllic Swedish hometown while mourning the loss of our humanity with a faint yet infectious sense of optimism. We can’t wait to hear what follows. Seemingly, neither can his 9k monthly Spotify streamers. He’s undoubtedly one to watch.
The Glasgow-hailing post-punk outfit Dr Void & the Skinjobs is fresh from the release of their atmospheric socially dissecting darkwave single, Generation Snowflake.
Even as someone that constantly gets referred to as a snowflake for having actual human emotions from their boomer father, Generation Snowflake still hit the dark and moody spot. There is plenty worth protesting in 2022; mass social media psychosis is decidedly one of them. The droning keys and spacey synths create the perfect platform for the hostility in the vocals, which are enough to make Peter Murphy sound tame.
Check out Generation Snowflake for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.
Fans of Depeche Mode won’t want to let the latest single, Ghosts Around My Bed, from The Ninth Configuration pass them by. The monochromatic synth lines teasingly flirt with the post-punk and darkwave while the beats infuse the melancholic candour-swathed single with danceability.
With the pensive sting of the Verve’s earlier material and the no holds barred lyricism that cuts to the same core of fraught emotional disillusionment that we are all susceptible to during our lives, Ghosts Around My Bed is as unifying as it is darkly destitute. In the best possible way. The Ninth Configuration simply projected the sense of cold claustrophobic harrow that surrounds us in the wake of lost pieces of our lives.
The official music video premiered on March 9th. You can check it out for yourselves via YouTube.
‘Chevalerie’is the latest dark and caustic electronic track that acts as a blackened sign of our times from the up and coming US artist and producer, AKMV-18. With visceral reminiscences to Celldweller, the pulsating beats thrash through the cavernous soundscape that embraces the darkest facets of our dystopic age.
The mechanical rhythms pierce through the comfortingly cold and hollow atmosphere of the track that bleeds an all too relatable melancholy while taking control of your rhythmic pulses through the psytrance nuances. Even the most pretentious cybergoth snobs would have a hard time picking holes in this entrancing hit which was just one of the seminal singles to feature on their latest EP.
‘Safety Demonstrationis just one of the standout dystopic darkwave singles that feature on the latest album to be released by the electronica artist and producer Nocturnal Omissions.
The solo artist first burst into NYC’s underground alternative scene in the early 00s before becoming Myspace famous; with five albums under his belt and plenty more EPs to boot, Nocturnal Omissions has continued to hone in on his craft. To stay true to authentic expression, each of his albums offers a different sonic twist.
Tempus Destinatumfollows on from his electronic post-rock album, Transientalism which unravels as a melodic feat of lo-fi post-rock. With his latest album, he’s borrowed elements from chill-wave hip hop pioneers before infusing them with his domineeringly dark signature edge.
Prepare your dark ambient trip-hop playlists for the latest release, Al Lat, from the alt-electronica duo, Aiko Aiko; it proves just how readily we bound around the word ‘ethereal’. When you’re confronted with a soundscape as phantasmal as AI Lat there are few ways to aptly allude to just how ensnaring the delicately commanding textures are.
The artist has been infusing their alchemic mash of soft synths, organs, driving electronic beats and intricate piano melodies onto the airwaves since 2012. With a brand of emotionally intellectual catharsis similar to Warpaint, Portishead and Widowspeak, it comes as no surprise that they have captivated an international fanbase with their psychedelic reprising progressions.
Al Lat will officially release on October 7th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to the artist’s website or SoundCloud.
The Deaf Institute became a welcome sanctum away from the culture-blind chaos that spilt from most venues on bank holiday Saturday in Manchester with the sublimely curated line-up featuring The Last Clouds, Woman You Stole and Mercury Machine.
The Last Clouds kicked off proceedings with their confessional lyrics, imploring vocals and dark indie electronica stylings that will be familiar with any fans of Covenant, VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk. If any artist can prove there is an intrinsic beauty in vulnerability, it is the Last Clouds. Their recently released single, How to Get Up From This, was all it took to allow my curiosity to transpire into fanatic adoration. The theatrical atmosphere of the single wouldn’t be out of place on the end credits of an apocalyptic blockbuster. Yet, it was the heart-wrenching lyrics, “I tried to speak but it is hard because nobody cares/ I’ll tear the books from my shelf just to lie in the words of somebody else”, that cemented a place on my radar for the criminally underrated act.
If anything can spice up a line-up, it is the je ne sais quoi of Woman You Stole. They set themselves apart by an avant-garde mile with their lively debonair set that easily commanded the crowd into feeling what was orchestrating between them – even if it was fascinatingly unpredictable from one progression to the next.
Their capriciously experimental style is arresting on record, seeing it first-hand is something else entirely. Describing Woman You Stole as entrancing may sound hyperbolic but their sophisticated originality that emanates from their authenticity and mind-blowing talent, rather than through diehard determination to find obscurity, is something everyone should make an effort to witness at least once.
It almost seems needless to rave about Mercury Machine; the band that falls outside of the Manchester post-punk assimilative trap and find themselves in far darker territory, one that made me pretty nostalgic about the soundtrack to Cradle of Fear. The Manchester-based dark indie electronica five piece’s set instantly made it obvious why most of the room were sporting their t-shirts and why why so much hype has amassed around them since the release of their critically-acclaimed debut album in 2019.
Their lyrics are too efficacious in allowing you to explore the fucked up avenues of the human psyche while the pace of frenetic rhythms allow you to find euphoria through defiantly dancing to depictions of our mental precariousness. I couldn’t have asked for a better hit of post-lockdown catharsis.
Bands should always be judged by how much they move you emotionally and how much they can make you move; as Mercury Machine got the first post-lockdown dance from me, I can’t give them much higher praise than that.
Their inhibition-stripping histrionic sound still finds space, occasionally, for Marr-style guitars that add even more energy to their caustic industrial sound could fill stadiums. If goths felt more inclined to leave their bedrooms, that is.
London-based British/Polish singer-songwriter and composer Lajze has released her latest indulgently obscure, avant-garde trip-hop EP, Red Sea. Any fans of Lydia Lunch, David Lynch’s phantasmal aural works and Marc Hurtado will want to experience the mesmerizingly dark soundscapes for themselves.
The best introduction to the electronically-crafted no-wave release is the lead single, Glue; that is exactly how it will stick to your synapses as you drink in the haunting atmosphere and feel the chill of the ominous droning bass around the glitchy beats. The sensual vocals add even more ethereal ambience to the single as they work around striking meta poetry which serves as lyricism.
OurNova’s latest EP, Bloodlines, Vol. 1, finds the middle-ground between lo-fi alt-rock and synth-pop; the perfect introduction to their dark electronic rock style is the ambiently plaintive standout single, Nicotine & Nosebleeds.
With the tempo of a Portishead track, chilling mechanical electronica tones reminiscent of NIN and the evocative sting of Blue October, Nicotine & Nosebleeds sits on the more melancholic side of the emotional spectrum. Yet, with the refreshingly honest lyrics and the sharp angular guitar progressions that cut through the dark atmosphere of the single, there’s no danger of falling into an existential hole while listening to the reflectively powerful single unfold.
Check out Nicotine & Nosebleeds for yourselves via Spotify.