4000 Records is a label in Brisbane/Meanjin, championing local acts, and one of their latest releases is from fhae. Ellena Ramsay is fhae, and the album sombre thorax, an ambient folk and experimental offering.

Photo by Amber Ramsey

The first track “soul” is hazy and almost a religious experience that floats with the vocals not necessarily the focus but rather an added tone that stirs within your chest. There is the gentle guitar in “body” strumming in a soundscape of echoes or the mellow, yet ghost like “drain” that slowly trickles past your senses.

The track “love you” is simply electrifying with the stringed instruments in the background while Ramsey’s vocals gorgeously ring through, stunning you into submission through the exposed beauty. It leads into the equally sweet “earth” with its multi-layered vocal track, creating a perfect choir . You can feel the building urgency in the instrumental track “emergency” or be immersed in the languidly moving “disappoint“.

In all, there are twelve tracks, with a few instrumentals in the mix. I can see why there are comparisons to the legendary Cocteau Twins due to Ramsey’s dreamy and honeyed singing, very much in the vein of Elizabeth Frazer. The music of sombre thorax feels as delicate as spiderwebs and entwined with fhae’s vocals of such elegance…. enough to invoke goosebumps in an angelic folk driven extasy.

sombre thorax | fhae | 4000 Records (bandcamp.com)




Mike Smith is also known by his project named Fiction 8 and he has produced the new EP, Life Is Fiction by Bow Ever Down. The EP contains five original synth inspired tracks that walk on the dark side of life.

Life Is Fiction” is the jaunty start to the EP and there is a subtle 80s vibe to this track. A sweetness tempered by memories and the delicate ideal that life is not real. Oooh, the guitar in “Seasons Change” struck me being very much in the vein of Wall Of Voodoo, while the electronics dance through with Kimberley’s vocals.

Next we are “Somewhere In The Nightfall” and the beautiful synths flow forth. A tale of being more than the people that try to control us and when we do escape, they are nothing but a spectre. “Ready To Die” is a meatier track, even with the music swirling, there is a seriousness lurking beneath and speaking of serious, the last track is the “How I Wish You Were Dead“. That title basically speaks for itself. The lament of being involved with the wrong person comes through in the vocals, while the synths soar like they have been given wings of freedom.

Church. Photo by Kimberley Bow Ever Down

Often, things that happen to us don’t seem real, or we create a narrative to escape the sadness, poverty, or crushing expectations of life. So, Life Is Fiction and the production is spot on by Smith, so clean and magical. The title track and “How I Wish You Were Dead” are probably my favourites and for those who are wondering about the cat on the cover, created by Ange Battiste… that is Church, and she is there to give a bit more joy with Bow Ever Down.

Life is Fiction (produced by Michael Smith of Fiction8) | Bow Ever Down (bandcamp.com)


Music | Fiction8 (bandcamp.com)


Norwegian, Erlend Eilertsen of Essence Of Mind, is about to release the second album under the project name Lights A.M., on the Alfa Matrix label, called Stories Without Words Vol. 2, on June the 23rd. However, we get our first listen through the single “Not Ready For This“.

An element of foreboding and lament is in the electronics, as they waver and chime through the instrumental track. Ancients drum whilst the low murmur of the droning electronics is in stark comparison to the gentle synths, that hold the lilting melody of what has passed. Subtle, beautiful and memorable is “Not Ready For This“, which you are utterly ready for by Lights A.M.

Stories Without Words Vol. 2 | LIGHTS A.M | Alfa Matrix (bandcamp.com)




There is some really brilliant darkwave music coming out currently, and the Antipole & Paris Alexander album, Crystalline, out on Young & Cold Records, on May 12th, is most certainly one of them. However, for now, sate your cravings with the latest single, “Bleached“, out on the 27th of April.

“Bleached is about a lost soul battling darkness and light. They still have an optimism and so strive for a more positive future. It is also set against a backdrop of Brexit and current social and economic struggles in the UK.” – Paris Alexander (Brighton, UK)

“We wanted to combine nasty-sounding moody synthesizers with ethereal guitars.” Karl Morten (Antipole) (Trondheim, Norway)

From those first smooth synth lines, you just know who this is. The guitar strikes true and clear, and when you hear Alexander whisper,’take me‘….well, just damn. You can hear the murkiness Morten mentions that creeps under your skin, while the rhythm carries you ever forward into the crumbling city, beneath darkening skies, hoping for something to change. “Bleached” is the darkwave dance noir, and it is a thing melancholic beauty from these bards of shadows, Antipole & Paris Alexander.

Crystalline | Antipole & Paris Alexander | Antipole (bandcamp.com)




The second Girls Under Glass single has been released with video, called “Dream Yourself Away“, in anticipation for the new album Backdraft, out on Dependant Records. Original singer, Tom Lücke, re-joined the band in 2016, after leaving back in 1989, which has brought back those wonderful vocals that greeted us on the first Girls Under Glass releases and this track can be found on the Deluxe Version of Backdraft.

It is a positive outlook on life in the present and in future. The text asks to deal with the important issues now and with confidence. The song is directly linked to my time with GIRLS UNDER GLASS back in the days, but it is also connected through the 1980s vibes within me to the present. To me, it nearly appears as if the days in between have never existed. I regard this song highly as a present and it moves me very much to see it being released as a single.” – Tom Lücke

There is a thrill that goes down my spine and I can’t decide if it is from the ringing guitars, the thumping bass or the succulent keyboards, but Lücke’s vocals definitely lend themselves to creating a mesmerising track. So builds the hunger for the new album from Girls Under Glass.

Backdraft (Deluxe Edition) | Girls Under Glass (bandcamp.com)


The late Burt Bacharach asked us what do I get if I fall in love, but in reality, maybe he should have asked what do we get when Sonikdevil and Mach FoX (Zwaremachine) join forces? For April, it seems to be an EP called New Dead Wave, with FoX as the vocals and Kyle Sonik playing instruments, with the pair cowriting all tracks.

The title track is the starter, and it sets the mood for the EP with a music vibe of that period of time where the 80s melded into the 90s industrial and the unquenchable hunger of the vampiric kind. The possible hint is in the name, “New Dead Wave“. If you were in doubt, this was a horror themed release, there is the guitar filled “Little Monster“, a rock ode to the female terror in your life that wants to reduce you to a tasty jelly mess. Psychedelic effects and a big rock sound stalks, waiting to “Let Us In“, where there is actually a liberal amount of glam rocker style in the offering.

Garden Of Rust” kind of reminds me quite a bit of the Ramones when they wrote “Pet Cemetery” with that very up-beat punk attitude, though this is at complete odds to the far more electronic “Circus Of The Damned” with FoX channelling a bit of Alice Cooper thrown in for good measure. The reminiscing of crazier times is the punk “Barstools & Broken Fools” and yet there is a story of loss behind the bravado. Of course, the aliens have not been forgotten about, and the last track is “The 4th Kind” that almost has horrorbilly feel to it, which is a really nice end to the EP.

Feels a bit mealy-mouthed to call this an EP when I’ve seen albums with fewer tracks on them. This is a recording that runs the gamut of rock from the wham bam glam 70s, punk, post-punk to industrial, with a sprinkling of psychobilly horror tongue in cheek, giving it the spooky flavour of B grade monster movies, which I think are the best sort. The hills might have eyes, but Sonikdevil and Mach FoX have New Dead Wave.

New Dead Wave | Sonikdevil & Mach FoX | Mach FoX (bandcamp.com)




Apparently, the project Habitable Moons is air and atmosphere out of Stockholm, but actually, it is a guy called Peter Lindström out of Stockholm and back in January, they debuted the EP, oddly called….well… EP1. This kind of alludes to the fact that there might be other EPs in the future.

October 3” kicks off, with highly rhythm intensive textures layering over each other. The pulsating electronics are almost futuristic in nature. Perhaps this is a date in future that we are awaiting with trepidation. There is the feeling of movement and the build-up of something ancient in “Winter Storm, Baltic Sea“, though it does not seem like a violent storm, but rather swells and ebbs with driving rain. The third track is “Cape Breton, Nova Scotia” and the sounds of gulls and guitar give you a glimpse of sun drenched beach running into the ocean, and early morning when the day is but young. It seems at peace with the world as the land wakes up. The guitar looping could be mistaken for church bells, and we even get to hear the voice of the progenitor, Lindström.

Just a small observation of mine was that the Bandcamp player that you can preview tracks on, was not showing any minutes, nor seconds for any of the three tracks, which is something I am not used to and it kind of gave an air of uncertainty as to how long the tracks went for. Maybe I should pick the word “timeless” as that suits these electronic tracks that conjure up visions with their rhythms and experimentation. EP1 runs for approximately twenty-five minutes, but it definitely doesn’t feel that long, and maybe that is what happens on Habitable Moons.

EP1 | Habitable Moons (bandcamp.com)


Australians Gerry Hawkins (Cryogenic Echelon) and Lawrie, aka Lawrie Masson (Studio X), are back with a new single/EP for their project Avarice In Audio, called “War Tanz“, tanz meaning dance, on the Alfa Matrix label. 2022 saw the release of the fifth studio album, Our Idols Are Filth and “War Tanz” is the second single.

Slamming electronic beats, Hawkins‘ gravelled vocals and those warbling synths that breakout during the chorus. They are pounding the dance track into your skull, the motivation to stop being a observer inside your own life, in “War Tanz“. Alien:Nation next have the remix, injecting heavenly synths into the more techno influenced version, though those mammoth beats still blast through, highlighted by the tinkling keyboards.

Lawrie is no slouch nor stranger when it comes to the remix, so the Studio-X mix is hardly a surprise. From the beginning, it is stripped down with the vocals at the fore, with hints of synths and it is amazingly effective, and equally danceable. It might be time to bust a move with the “Downer Grooves“, an instrumental to get on down with, and get on up again, which does not appear on the album.

Brilliant heavy beats, evocative vocals and scintillating remixes…. does it get any better than that? Industrial dance music done right by Avarice In Audio and they are calling you to the “War Tanz” against mundane.

War Tanz EP | AVARICE IN AUDIO | Alfa Matrix (bandcamp.com)




Italian band Codice EGO has dropped their EP, Rainbow’s End on April 21st. This three track EP, is the journey of one band member, who found himself confronted with an illness that no one could diagnose and faced with his own mortality.

The title track, “Rainbow’s End” is the first single and is full of a slinky cool vibe, and smooth vocals lending themselves to the Portishead sound, while the throbbing guitar settles below, occasionally breaking out in flourishes. “Errors And Repairs” has post-punk jangliness wending its way through the ebb and flow of emotions in a period of time of being unable to fix the human machine but the most important component is convincing the brain to move on. The last track is the male voiced “Contriver“, the electronics are at the fore with the rhythms pounding from the drums and in an amazingly powerful ending. The survivor looking at what they have gone through.

Post-punk mixed with shoegaze and an understated degree of electronics is a part of the concoction that makes Rainbow’s End so easy to listen to, yet the vocals, fuelled by the ocean deep lyrics, for Codice EGO that make it all gel perfectly.



In 2020, ABU NEIN released their first album, Secular Psalms, and now the band, hailing for Malmö, Sweden, are about to drop their next called II, on Progress Productions. But before that happens, there is a new single, “Kissing The Glove“.

From the first electronic beats, “Kissing The Glove” simply oozes dance floor killer, with buckets of seduction drawing you in. The track pulsates and causes a quickening of your heart. The vocals send a shiver of pure joy down your spine while the synths darkly rumble.

This is an impossibly wonderful darkwave track that is gorgeously drenched in eroticism. So what is the mystery of the left hand? Maybe all will be revealed in II, but for now, we have “Kissing The Glove” by ABU NEIN.

▶︎ Kissing the Glove | ABU NEIN (bandcamp.com)