Tampa’s boldest goth rock revivalist, Asher Musgrave, has continued in his endeavour to bring the obscure chill of post-punk & darkwave back into the atmosphere with his latest single, SummerBelle.
The up-and-coming songwriter, musician and producer ensued the experimentalism with a Sisters of Mercy-Esque intro, complete with post-punk crooning. Before breaking into an ensnaring dark amalgamation of burning synths, over-driven guitars and vocals which throw you back to the time when Marilyn Manson was known for Fight Song instead of his questionable antics.
Notably, he’s already on the right track to bring goth rock back into mainstream view. With a little production improvement, he has exactly what it takes.
The Zurich-based Italian alt-electro originator, Yarsha, has followed his seductively eccentric debut single, Do you wanna dance, with the even more gloriously existentialist alt-electro pop single, Run Coward.
Under anyone else’s orchestration, Run Coward would be a cold and harsh track. Yet, with the inclusion of his personably playful vocals on the Powerman 5000-Esque analog synths, Run Coward doesn’t just hit the rhythmic spot. It tempts some serotonin to spit across the synapses too.
While the haunted synths and nasty electro-industrial discord set the caustic tone to reflect the insidiousness of the rife injustice on our planet that is more akin to the Christian depiction of hell, the cuttingly contemporary lyrics extend the gift of resonant antagonism. We all need more affirmations that the world is messed up beyond rhyme or reason. Especially when they are as infectiously upbeat as Run Coward, and the rest of the world is at work gaslighting us into believing that our fatalism isn’t a sign of sanity.
Here is what Yarsha candidly had to say about his latest release:
“This world is f…ed up. It’s full of hypocrisy on every level. I wrote this song in 2015, mentioning the war in Ukraine when almost nobody knew it was happening. Nobody knows that the Dalai Lama’s son was kidnapped by the Chinese government. Still, it was in many newspapers and tv shows. Assange exposed just the reality and cruelty of facts, and the US is treating him exactly like Putin treats his enemies.
I’m not finger-pointing them; I’m finger-pointing me. I’m the coward. When I see and know all this, what do I do? Nothing. I’m watching Netflix, playing music, and having fun. It’s a struggle to live in such a world: can we do anything to stop this? Or is it better to just run from it and enjoy the good time that pure luck gave us?”
Run Coward was officially released on July 8th. Hear it on SoundCloud.
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.
It is a bitter-sweet time for post-punk with most modern outfits becoming a parody of the pioneers by fixating on assimilating sonic texture over bringing the same substance that made us fall in love with the genre in the first place. Palais Ideal, consisting of John Edwards and Richard van Kruysdijk, who have previously collaborated with members of Wire, Bauhaus, Christian Death, Coil, Legendary Pink Dots and Swans, are the refreshingly existential antithesis.
The Netherlands-hailing duo’s seminal 2021 album, Negative Space, is an existential howl into the void where the façade of common sense, decency, and dignity existed. Every high-octane hook that draws you deeper into this manifesto of an LP resonates as an act of resistance.
With its Kessler-Esque guitars cutting through the caustic overflow of the vintage synths, the harbinger of an opening single, The Overseer, makes a meal out of your rhythmic pulses as the lyrics and vocals affirm that not every sane mind has been cowed into radio silence.
Results is a riotously electric post-punk indie earworm with enough anthemic power to minuscule the production on your dust scattered records paired with an intuitive mix of light and dark aural ephemera, the kind of balance that allowed the Smiths to reign indie supreme. Metaphorically, this maturation of the Sweet and Tender Hooligan has picked up plenty of vitriol since he declared that in the midst of life, we are in death, and rightly so. There is no abyss deep enough to absolve the sins committed through our collective lack of self-awareness.
With a Richey Edwards-style lyrical opener, “self-obsessed is so indulgent, why live in oblivion?”, Reject the Anaesthetic instantly became a paradoxically enlivening highlight. In contradiction to the demands of the title, the even-kilter guitars, melodic basslines and percussion that is tighter than the government’s welfare budget start to deliver the psych-tinged soporific aural medicine to prove just how easy it is to pacify people into suggestibility.
The Voice of Reason is so beautifully just that. Just when you think you have Palais Ideal pegged, the compassion starts to pour, coming from a well of unequivocal understanding for ultimate sucker-punching consolation.
Anything for a Thrill is a frenetic continuation of Reject the Anaesthetic, which strips the glamour right off the back of the libertine. It is gorgeously bold in its unapologeticness when holding people accountable for chasing highs after their dreams have disintegrated around their own self-destruction.
Concluding with the moody industrial post-punk Posthuman cry, Age of Intransigence, Negative Space fades to a final close and leaves you wondering how you are going to contribute to society beyond passivity, ego, insecurity and pedestrianism (on a good day). If Palais Ideal started a cult, I’d be the first in line with goat blood on my hands.
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.
Taking the most frustrating threads of our social fabric and weaving a hypnotically euphonic darkwave post-punk earworm with them is no easy feat; by bringing his best Patrick Bateman energy to his sinisterly shot video for Manipulator, London’s Oliver Marson succeeded. The late-stage capitalist state of 2022 couldn’t ask for a better aural satirist.
Though visually, he makes a convincing sociopath that thrives on the stupidity of the prolifically dull minds and their emotion-driven tendencies. There’s no hiding his affable soul that always contrasts his dark textures and themes in his consistently addictive and eccentric tracks.
While the angular guitars reminded me why I fell in love with Interpol (Turn on the Bright Lights, obviously), the Editors-ESQUE anthemically crooned post-punk vocals drive up the hooky energy around the drone of the 80s vintage synths and the beats that are always snapping the lyrical heels of lines such as “there’s nothing left besides what you hate”.
It’s almost been three years since Oliver Marson appeared on our radar with the ultimate hedonist’s love song, Cocaine Romance. We never know what to expect, aside from resistance to conformity and unapologetic theatrical flair. As ever, we can’t wait to hear what follows.
The official music video for Manipulator premiered on March 29th. It is now available to stream on YouTube or add to your Spotify playlists.
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.
With striking energy that might shock many into having nightmares, Ghosts Over Dresden sends us a blood-soaked love story that could stain your teeth with the debut single called ‘My Dark Angel‘.
Ghosts Over Dresden is a darkwave/goth band from Dresden, Germany who let flow with a release that will have you looking deeply into this intriguing effort.
”Emerging in an era in which quite literally every music scene in every city in the world was dying at the hands of a deadly virus, Ghosts Over Dresden (G.O.D) rose from the still smoking ashes to bring a new brand of darkwave in a desperate time. Creating songs that brood and shimmer as well as tracks with hooks for days, G.O.D. is calling hungry audiences to the altar for the resurrection of dark pop.” ~ Ghosts Over Dresden
With a moody ambience that tells us the story about a passionate love that is highly intense and packed full of that romance that sends shivers down your spine, Ghosts Over Dresden takes us into a new world that will either excite you or scare you into pieces.
‘My Dark Angel‘ from the Dresden, Germany-based indie darkwave act Ghosts Over Dresden, is a thrilling effort that might belong in a horror movie. The painted face aura has your thoughts gusting back to Halloween, and this is a track that will take you into the darkest part of a liaison that is packed full of devotion that it might cause either one of you to break in half.
For all the fans of this mysteriously created genre – you have found yourself a new underground hero – who make that soul-shocking experience that will have you peeking around nervously when the lights are out.
Hear this haunting new single on Spotify and see what they get up to on IG.
London-based artist FHUR’s dark electro-pop hit, We Just Wanna Have Fun, is melancholic enough to serve as the antithesis to the fairly cringe-inducing Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Anyone whose mentality manual setting isn’t banal joy will appreciate the way that the darkwave synth-pop hit makes satisfaction seem like a celestial force in our apathy-imparting world.
Since her debut, FHUR has become an unignorable name in London’s alt-electronica scene, and it is unlikely that her notoriety will end there. Her sultry vocals have haunted venues such as Hoxton Underbelly and Amersham Arms. For any fans of this single, there’s plenty more in the pipeline as FHUR’s debut EP is due for release in early 2022.
We Just Wanna Have Fun is now available to stream on Spotify.