Aaaaannnd we’re back! We didn’t totally plan the one month hiatus from writing for the site (originally intended to be 2-3 weeks, extended due to scheduling issues), but to be perfectly honest the extra time away has us champing at the bit to start posting about the plethora of new songs, records and topics that pertain to our musical interests. Without wishing to delay that much more, we’ll pop in a quick plug for the two In Conversation podcasts we recorded for August with friends Evilyn 13 and Bess Lovejoy, and yesterday’s evisceration of Electronic’s self-titled debut, just in case you missed them. On to Tracks!
Ashbury Heights feat, Corlyx, “Tunguska”
If you listened to our jaw with Ashbury Heights from a few weeks ago you heard the band refer to this recently released collab with Corlyx. Like a lot of contemporary Ashbury Heights songs, this has a lot of unexpected elements; the acapella intro in this case, although it ends up being a reflection of the song’s inward gazing themes. Of course it wouldn’t be Ashbury Heights if it didn’t recall electropop songwriting in the grand Swedish style, albeit with their own melancholic mood. We loved hearing this live at Terminus, and it more than holds up in recorded form.
Kite, “Don’t Take The Light Away”
In a very different area of the Swedish synthpop spectrum, we have the latest single from Kite, the seventh since the last of their chronologically titled EPs, but their first on new North American label Dais. Lest you think that hopes for further North American conquest would prompt Niklas and Christian to veer from their grand and sweeping course, a few seconds of the fraught strings which open “Don’t Take The Light Away” will disabuse you of that. This is exactly the sort of bombastic, cinematic vision of modern synth Kite have been championing and refining for at least a decade now.
Die Selektion, “Drei Gesichter”
The fourth track from Die Selektion’s forthcoming Zeuge Aus Licht begins by casting a different light on the hotly anticipated first LP from the trio since 2017: much more stripped down and harsh than the other teaser tracks we’ve heard “Drei Gesichter” feels like a throwback to the band’s earliest and roughest work before it shifts gears and heads down the autobahn into a swelling synth sunrise, replete with the peppiest horns we’ve ever heard from the self-styled prosecco wave act. Can’t wait to hear what should be a very rich and striking record if the goodly portion of it we now have on the table is representative.
The latest from prolific German darkwave artist Glaring features plenty of icy, claustrophobic tracks like this one. Coming to us from Florida’s Popnihil, who’ve hipped us to all manner of noise and dark synth over the past few years (Mother Juno, Bacon Grease), it’s chipped from the same glacial block as work we’ve enjoyed from the likes of Torch and Forever Grey.
Moon 17, “Jellyfish”
This one comes to us via a tip from the good folks in Spike Hellis, the very first release from Kansas City’s Moon 17. It’s a particular mix of sounds that appeals greatly to us comprising some classic body, synthpop and darkwave, with an ear for the way those genres are comparable, and the dissonant borders where they meet. A strong debut, and one that puts them firmly in the camp of emerging acts you should be keeping your eye on.
Patriarchy, “No Touch Torture (Baby Magick of HAEX remix)
Patriarchy have been a hot live act in 2023, burning up festival stages all over, making fans and causing a stir everywhere they go. The conversation around their live show often overlooks the material, which if you recall our review of The Unself is a canny mix of darkwave, rock and industrial elements. It’s also a fine canvas for remixes, as new release Forcefully Rearranged attests, featuring a killer line-up including Xavier Swafford from 3 Teeth, The Soft Moon, Rhys Fulber, Choke Chain, Pixel Grip, Odonis Odonis and many more. We’re especially into this one by friend of the site Baby Magick of Haex, taking “No Touch Torture” to the industrial dancefloor.