Fleisch have dropped their latest viscerally augmented industrial earworm, FIREFLY, allowing the darkwave electronica genre to evolve around the pulsating euphoria that spills from the fierce interplay of influence from Rammstein and Depeche Mode.
With synth carved hooks that will latch onto your consciousness for days between the harsh ensnaring industrial metal rancour that riles your rhythmic pulses, FIREFLY pays ode to the three-piece’s inspiration while refusing to let it define their anthemic sound, which keeps the techno tempo upbeat and the tones dark to deliver the ultimate industrial floor-filler.
If Zeromancer, Combichrist, and Powerman 5000 feature heavily on your playlists, you’ll easily find space for Fleisch and their authentic take on the genre.
FIREFLY buzzed onto the airwaves on December 1st; stream it on Spotify.
The US-based artist and producer FanFixion surpassed the synth wave trend with his 3-track project, Bleach Bitten, featuring the ensnaringly glitchy standout single, Jackets Domain.
As the emotions run high, the synth lines soak the darkwave score with atmospheric electricity which bridges the gap between new wave synthpop artists such as The Midnight and EBM icons including VNV Nation and Covenant.
With the inventive use of distortion to the hooky vocal melodies to amplify the intrinsic sense of disquietness and rock nuances bleeding into the hit that will leave your heart in your throat as soon as the chorus hits, it is safe to say that FanFixion has been triumphant in his mission to push synth wave into dark unchartered waters.
FanFixion released his 3-track single, Bleach Bitten, on August 11th; stream it in full via Spotify.
Iconic sonic palettes from the 80s and the 90s converge in Hope Called in Sick’s latest single, Lotus; the shimmering synth melodies paired with the layers of accordant shoegazey reverb made it a multi-stop nostalgia hit.
Plenty of contortions have been spun upon the 80s synth sound, but the husband and wife duo, Rob and Monica Schipul, managed to bring brand-new phantasmal energy out of it. Lotus offers a very different brand of ambience; one that reflects our modern malaise and the duo’s Jungian lens through which they see the world.
Check out the latest release from Hope Called in Sick on Bandcamp.
With an intro that mashes The National-style tender piano keys with glitchy caustic electronica, the sense of duality starts resonating early in The Last Clouds’ latest single, Black Hole Lives.
There is an overarching sense of inescapable despair while the restive drum patterns epitomise our refusal to sit restless with ennui. Resonate with it, and you will find yourself consumed by the monochromatic tones, poetic lyrics and psychologically reflective rhythms as you’re taken to the sonic depths of dejection. I mean, do you really have anywhere better to go?
As the single progresses, the reverb that took the sting out of the naturally intimate, Paul Banks reminiscent vocals in the intro starts to slip away, allowing the emotion to ebb and flow with the crescendos, saving the most visceral for last.
I don’t make Paul Banks comparisons lightly, but if any new single is going to leave you an emotional wreck, it is Black Hole Lives and I can personally vouch for The Last Clouds when I say they pour plenty more into their live performances than Interpol.
Black Holes Lives is the second release from the Cheshire-based synth duo’s upcoming album, English Melancholy. The single was officially released on September 17th; you can check it out via Spotify.
Toronto, Canada-hailing roller derby skater Siobamm used her time during lockdown to write and self-produce her dark pop debut EP, Gloom Patrol. It is easily one of the most promising alt-electronica debuts so far in 2021.
The standout single, Bones, is a feat of darkwave synth-pop that pulls in gothy discordant textures along with the steady downtempo pace of the pulsating basslines, giving Bones a mesmerizingly mellifluous, almost cinematic, feel. If Gloom Patrol was her 10th EP, we’d be impressed. For Siobamm to make a debut with a sound that is polished as it is authentic is something else entirely. Discernibly, the key to Siobamm’s success was ensuring that connectable emotion ran at the surface of her unique sound.
Any fans of Warpaint, Hooverphonic, Portishead and Bjork won’t want to miss out on this stylistically moody synth-pop release.
If you share Vex Message’s hatred of our surveillance state, you’ll definitely want to introduce yourself to the earworm which resides in their latest darkwave post-punk release, ‘Data Regime’.
Vex Message may be fresh on the scene, but founding member, Derek Meins, was formerly part of Rough Trade-signed Eastern Lane, The Famous Poet and The Agitator. They brought all of their rhythmically astute professionalism to Data Regime; an unforgettably catchy hit that allows their enigmatic personality to shine through.
If you could imagine what it would sound like if Peter Murphy embraced his playful side and brought funky gothy grooves into his sound, you’ll get an idea of what is on offer in the danceable mix that will be a hit with any fans of Talking Heads and The Wire.
Data Regime officially released on April 9th. It is available to stream and download via Bandcamp.
Well, all of a sudden the 1980’s turned up, kicked in the door with a lacy sleeve-cuff and some Adam Ant eyeliner, popped their pixie-booted feet up on the table, and announced their intention to stay with a New Romantic frock-coat thrown firmly onto the back of the sofa. And, with ‘We Are The Emperors’, what an entrance it is; a three-piece electro-pop beaut writ large in gated, reverb-heavy snare beats, chocky guitar, and driving bass.
Drawn together by legendary Killing Joke bassist Martin ‘Youth’ Glover (producer for everyone from Bananarama to Pink Floyd, Edwin Collins, Siousxie and the Banshees, and The Verve), there’s some serious writing skills and musicianship behind the frills and blusher; touches of Pet Shop Boys and Yazoo electronica mixed with Spandau Ballet, Kate Bush, Gary Numan, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and The Human League, but there’s some serious pop sensibilities too – Bananarama, again, Fun Boy Three, Go West, A-Ha, and Duran Duran, for sure. You get the picture – a United Colours of Benetton picture, framed in Black Ash and lit with neon, at the same time bang up to date and spectacular, pop-driven, and absolutely explosive. Make no mistake – there’s a retro-tinged influence here, for sure, but this is no simple regressive homage to the past; it’s cutting edge, stellar, and absolutely right now – with a superb video to match, ‘We Are The Emporers’ is simply a fabulous pop record.
RawFall’s latest single, A Thousand Thoughts, doesn’t just lyrically play with the concept of disquietude, within the intricate layers of the Darkwave Electronica single, agitation and restlessness reside in the soundscape as a perfect aural depiction of a tumultuously anxiety-ailed mind. That should be anxiety-invoking in itself, but with the consoling yet sonorous vocals, any such emotion will be efficaciously quelled.
With the duo’s influences including everything from Psych to Blues to Alt Electro, there’s a dynamic non-assimilative feel which fleetingly carries reminiscences to Empathy Test and Blue October, but you’ve never heard anything quite like A Thousand Thoughts before. I was beginning to wonder if any Dark Electronica artist had the ability to produce without sounding like a Trent Reznor carbon copy, but RawFall, with their conceptual fraught masterpiece of a single well and truly proved me otherwise.
You can check out A Thousand Thoughts for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.