As per our conversation off the top of last week’s podcast, it’s remarkable to think about how diverse and active the North American festival season has become, to the point that there barely seems to be a festival “season” as such anymore, and that we can’t even necessarily keep them straight (see our confusion regarding The Unconvention vs Absolution Fest). It’s hard to believe that there was a time when it really only felt, to paraphrase The Blues Brothers like there were simply two fests focusing on “both kinds” of music: goth (Convergence) and industrial (Kinetik). In short, despite the real challenged currently facing touring bands, fans have more options than ever in terms of being able to see multi-day genre-hopping lineups at destinations other than the other side of the continent. Let’s get to this week’s tracks!
Bedless Bones, “Dead Woman”
It didn’t take long for Kadri Sammel’s Bedless Bones project to become a house favourite here at ID:UD, and forthcoming third LP Mire Of Mercury is currently sitting pretty high on our list of most anticipated records still yet to see their 2023 release. If lead single “Dead Woman” is any indication it might be heading in the direction pointed to by the smoother side of its predecessor Bending The Iron Bough. With deep, bassy pads which have as much in common with new age as house, its a track which embodies modern darkwave elegance, through and through.
House of Harm, “Roseglass”
House of Harm’s forthcoming Playground is one of our most anticipated late year releases, the Massachusetts-based melodic post-punk act having captured our hearts with their excellent previous record Vicious Pastimes. Have a listen to “Roseglass” for a taste of why we’re so keen on them – it’s a lovely bit of melancholic synthpop, layered with dreamy synths and some of HoH’s excellent tuneful hooks setting it off just so.
We’ve been tracking LA’s Scimitar for a while now, and the steady stream of singles the duo have been releasing into the wild has kept our interest in the emerging darkwave act way up. Their latest “Vacios” plays up the punkier edge of their sound, making a meal of a jagged guitar line and some alternatingly gruff and desperate vocals set to a pulsing electronic backbeat. They have yet to disappoint, and surely have enough material for a solid mini-album at this point, god willing.
Anti Yo, “Un cuchillo tras mi retina”
We’re still very much all about the wave of body music emanating from Central and South America, and so the arrival of a new label trading in that style has our attention. Bloody Electronics is based out of Argentina, and their first comp features a number of intriguing tracks from new to us names like Proyecto Basilico and Cccicio. Coming off their very enjoyable La Formula release for Pildoras a couple of years back, we’re happy to have this bit of anhalt minimalism with some Halloween-friendly atmospheres from Anti Yo.
Lizard Skin, “Salivation”
If you’ve never heard of Lizard Skin, some of the folks involved will no doubt be familiar to you; the rough-edged post-punk project featuring Mark Arciaga of Puerta Negra, and now Susan Subtract of Physical Wash on bass. The sound of the preview tracks for new album Desperations is straight up nasty, bringing to mind The Birthday Party’s grimmest moments of controlled chaos. Seriously, have a listen to “Salivation” right now, it’ll peel the paint off the walls and burn that hangover right out of your head.
Ultra Sunn, “This Is Not About You”
We briefly mentioned on last week’s podcast that Belgium’s Ultra Sunn seemed like an odd fit for the 2024 iteration of the Sad New World festival. While we’d be very curious to see how a crowd predominantly showing up for throwback nu-metal would react to the duo’s slinky style of darkwave, we’d rather hear their latest single in the smoky clubs for which it was intended.