As we alluded to on last week’s podcast, we’re in a very tenuous position in North America as far as live shows are concerned. Rather than the broad, sweeping cancellations of all shows we experienced a year and a half ago, or the flick-of-a-switch return to Roaring ’20s excess and partying many of us were hoping for once a vax was out, we seem to be in a strange limbo in which some local shows are happening, often with new capacity limits and vaccine passports. We have tickets for a handful of shows in the next couple of months, and while it seems likely that some might be cancelled, we have a feeling that we’ll at least be able to see a local gig sometime soon. Here’s hoping that wherever you are, you’re able to safely enjoy some live gigs in the near future. On to this week’s Tracks…

Salute the Blague

SØLVE, “Acid Rain”
Every year Brant Showers of SØLVE and ∆AIMON puts out a track on his birthday, and this year’s is an interpolation of Lorn’s modern classic “Acid Rain”. If you’re not familiar with the original, let us assure you that this makes a lot of sense; the original’s hazy, saturated atmosphere and dreamy melody is a sort spiritual relative of the esoteric dark electronics that Showers creates as SØLVE, making the cover feel like a meeting of two distinct but related aesthetics. Crank this one up in a dark room for maximum effect.

Forma Tadre, “Once Upon A Time There Were Cities”
A hitherto unheard Forma Tadre record laid down twenty years ago? This is the sort of news which keeps us running this site. Based on the two preview tracks up on Bandcamp, Geiger’s Day very much sounds like an apocalyptic companion piece to the ambient cityscapes of Automate – post-nuclear skylines still and quiet save for the echoing pings of the Geiger counters tallying the radiation.

Spectres, “Tell Me”
After a decidedly mellower turn towards Factory-styled post-punk with last year’s Nostalgia, Vancouver’s own Spectres look to be raising their pop quotient even further with the forthcoming Hindsight (shouldn’t that have been the name of the 2020 record?). There’s a healthy amount of synthpop (possibly Kon Kan-esque?) added to the chorus pedaled bass sound the band have been trading in for a few years on this first taster.

Plack Blague, “Dangerous”
America’s leather band is back, baby! Taken from a forthcoming split 7″ with COCK E.S.P., “Dangerous” has all the hallmarks of a PB joint; sweaty synthwork, banging drum programming and raw vocals. Speaking of the vocals, we’re feeling the slightly growlier delivery Raws is using here, perhaps hearkening back to his history in punk and metal pre-Blague. And those “Head like a Hole” cymbals on the intro? Dang. Next album when???

MeLLLo, “Crown”
It’s been a few years since we’ve had a new LP from normally prolific synthpop act Marsheaux, but at least one half of the Greek duo is keeping their hand in. Marianthi Melitsi’s solo project, MeLLLo, has had a steady stream of tracks coming down the pipe for the past year. A good amount of the bounce and charm of Marsheaux is present in MeLLLo, as can be heard on this brassy electropop number.

Sexual Purity, “Don’t Touch”
Okay look, we’ve joked plenty about the prevailing influence of Boy Harsher on modern darkwave, but the fact remains we like that sound and are more then happy to have more tracks in it to fill out our various playlists. Such is the case with Sexual Purity and their new single “Don’t Touch”, which like their other material pays fealty to the aforementioned, but has some bounce and appeal of its own. Dig the slower tempo on this one, a moody tablesetter for your DJ set or spooky mixtape.