We checked in with each other a couple of days ago to collate a list of the just released and impending records we’ll want to cover on the site, and oh boy do we have a glut of springtime delights to get to; folks can expect longer thoughts about a slew of goth, darkwave, and post-punk records in particular. Does this mean we won’t have the usual, maddening spate of releases dropping in the second half of December, when we and half of the musical internet have closed up shop? Who’s to say.
“Man, wait until the kids getting into HEALTH find out about [:SITD:]!” We’re being a bit glib, but we’d be lying if we didn’t acknowledge that the hard-hitting electro at the root of the latest single from LA’s most wrestling-fixated industrial rock band didn’t have us flashing back to any number of industrial club jams from 15-20 years back. “Hateful” updates that template with some fresh production and guitars, plus that melancholy melodic haze HEALTH so often bring.
Kite, “Don’t Take the Light Away”
Our love is Kite is so well-documented at this point that even pointing out how long we’ve been fretting and obsessing over the kings of emotional Swedish synth music is itself kind of a cliché. Still, seeing a new Kite song drop out of nowhere fills our shriveled, wizened hearts with a special kind of joy. “Don’t Take the Light Away” is lovely and very much the sort of micro-epic they excel at, summoning big feelings as it builds and builds over its six minute run time. This one comes via Dais Records, which is a nice pairing, hopefully meaning merch will be more accessible and maybe some more North American shows will be possible?
Puerta Negra, “Caída al Mal”
Get your EBM, fresh and acidic just the way you like it! Puerta Negra’s EP was one of 2022’s most exciting debuts, and the Portland duo’s live show had the energy to suit. They’re following it up with the four-track Playa Sola in a month’s time, and based on this we can expect another suite of caustic vocals and squishy sequencing.
Bara Hari, “Agoraphobic”
Bara Hari comes through with another intriguing joint off her forthcoming LP Lesser Gods, due May 26th on Re:Mission. It’s a song that’s quite literally about the titular phobia, albeit broached in such a way that it points to broader emotional entanglements, some of which we’ve gotten tastes of in the preceding tracks we’ve heard from the record. As with everything Bara Hari, the production and songwriting is strong here, balancing mood and instrumentation with smooth vocal presence, all of which has made her one of our perpetual watchlist acts in the dark pop milieu.
MVTANT, “Damaged Goods (Gang of Four cover)”
We’re always up for a good Gang of Four cover, and boy does mutant EBM standard-bearer MVTANT come through with this version of the immortal “Damaged Goods”. The approach to the cut ups the menace with a slowboil build and lots of grimy synth layers that never serve to distract from the muscly rhythm track. Hell of a breakdown on this one too. This is from the just-announced Low Culture Metal Bodies which is a collection of remixes and covers, pre-order available now via Bandcamp.
Menthüll, “Dance Cabaret”
Québec’s Menthüll are back with the lead track from forthcoming EP A Proper Ending. We’re glad to see them continuing to work with releases slightly longer than the single tracks with which they emerged, but more importantly we’re glad that songs like this one retain the band’s charm: dense and drippy, but still with that keen ear for immediate melody we’ve come to associate with duo.
That HEALTH song actually reminds me more of Zeromancer than SITD, but given that I’m a fan of all three I’m not complaining.