After several weeks of vegan holiday roast coma, we rise from our slumber and return with this, the first batch of Tracks from 2019! Okay, sure, fine, a handful of these were likely released before the ball dropped, but you take our point. It’s in these weekly posts that we often begin to find the first hints of broader trends and significant full releases, so join us for another year of quick, weekly batches of the hottest new tunes in Our Thing!
Few things bring us joy here at the ID:UD HQ like new music from Continues. Dan Gatto’s emotive synthpop remains one of our lodestars, and we couldn’t imagine a more hopeful beginning to 2019 than this driving “get up and do it” tune. A combination of reflection, inspiration, and hard-earned wisdom, “Unsweetened” gets to the heart of what makes Continues great instantaneously. Between this and the excellent “Fall Tragic” single from a few months back, it’s wonderful to hear Dan back in action.
Helix, “Like a Drug (Neuroticfish remix)”
Mari Kattman and Tom Shear made a good album in Helix’s 2018 debut Twin, showing off the former’s rich expressive range as a vocalist and a versatility of the former as a producer. Pay-what-you-want remix release Helix Remix speaks to that well, with alternate takes in differing styles offered up by the likes of iVardensphere, Jean-Marc Lederman, Iris, Adoration Destroyed and others. In particular we were taken with this version of “Like a Drug” rendered by Neuroticfish, which takes the lush and moody feel of the original and injecting it with a clean, high-grade melancholy.
Klack, “Addicted to Love”
Okay, industrial covers of unlikely pop songs is an old trope, but one that can still yield some fun results as evidenced by this Klack cover of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love”. The original’s outsized eighties rock is a hell of a canvas for Oehler (Null Device) and Fanale (Caustic) to work with, and they come through with a new-beat tinged synthpop version that eschews cheese for a cool, continental charm. Considering the original is mostly remembered for having a video with expressionless Nagel-girls in it, maybe Klack’s version has more aesthetic ties to it’s source than it seems at first blush.
V▲LH▲LL, “Aeons Unveiled remixed by Xenturion Prime”
V▲LH▲LL’s Grimoire fared well on our Year End list by virtue of offering the strongest and broadest set of music yet created by our favourite witchy Swedes, making the possibilities for their forthcoming remix release seem boundless. That’s especially the case when one notes that Grim/More will feature contributions from the likes of SØLVE, Glass Apple Bonzai, and Seeming. The poppy post-trance stylings of Xenturion Prime may seem at odds with V▲LH▲LL’s misty atmospheres, but everything comes together well on this remix, portending well for the full course.
The Present Moment, “Looking In”
We’ve been fans of Scott Milton’s The Present Moment basically since the moment we first heard them, so much so that Milton was one of the very first people we interviewed for I Die: You Die back in 2011. New music from the LA-based project is naturally then a source of some excitement for us. Enter “Looking In”, the first taste of what Milton and collaborator Jason Dunn have been working on. There’s a real beautiful simplicity in the violin-sounds mixed in with synthpop here, especially when contrasted with the noisy breakdown and funky electric bass workout at the track’s climax. Great and unexpected stuff from a band who won our hearts through consistently delivering the same. Can’t wait for the promised 2019 LP.
Zanna Nera, “Blood Debts”
The forthcoming Sacred Spells comp (which will be benefitting TGI Justice, an organization dedicated to helping trans people of colour) features an impressive list of contributors from the West Coast and beyond: from Texas (Twin Tribes) to Oregon (Ritual Veil) to our own backyard (Sigsaly). We hadn’t checked Oakland’s Zanna Nera previous to this, but there’s some solid darkwave churn to this witchy number.