Ireland’s pMad has released a single, on the 31st of August, called “Sisters“. Paul Dillion is pMad, a member of the bands The Suicidal Dufflecoats and The Greeting, now turning his hand to this solo post-punk, gothic inspired project.

There is a pervading, shrouded veil of seriousness and mourning. The shoegaze dirge of loss and bereavement penetrates all, with the guitar work driving in the nails of sorrow and Dillion’s vocals low in reverence.

Sisters” was created in reference to loved ones, who have past away far too early, leaving others to grieve them, but also to be thankful for being in their presence. It’s nice to have a track that both highlights the sadness of death and also wants to say that every moment counts. It shows a deft hand to be able to express yourself in a track like this. So, pMad encourages you to hold your “Sisters” close, even if it is just in your heart.

http://www.pmadtheband.com/

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US five piece, Candy Coffins, have released the second single off their forthcoming album, Once Do It With Feeling. The single is called “Seaside Girls” …… not the regular place to find night creatures but then these days, who can tell.

Photo by Lauren Ellis

Those beach babes with their long legs is a rock classic however in this song, it seems that only horror can be found with these pin-ups, as they drown you in their world. There is a taste of the vocal punk styling of Elvis Costello in the beginning and seemingly always the jangling whirlwind of guitars sweeping you up, and bearing you off, while the piano dutifully lights the way.

The vocals are great but the guitar work really seals the deal, layered, giving a rich texture to “Seaside Girls“. Maybe they are the human equivalent to the Greek mythos Sirens but you are safe listening to the dark attraction via the Candy Coffins.

https://candycoffins.bandcamp.com/track/every-day-a-fresh-atrocity

http://www.facebook.com/candycoffins

The new EP, From The Sky, by Berlin’s Golden Apes, was a nice surprise for fans and a return to a band based sound, on the label, Icy Cold Records. Brothers, Peer Lebrecht and Christian Lebrecht are back with new band members in the fold. The group is known for both their gothic romanticism and mystical themes as well as Peer’s sonorous baritone singing, so From The Sky, indeed, has this in spades. Dark and rich landscapes are painted for you to explore, with historical touch stones and spiritual pools. All you need to do is give yourself over to the music. We were lucky enough to have the exquisite Peer, talk to us about the German music scene, new music from the Golden Apes and new members, as well as a little about his solo project Voyna.

Welcome to darkness within Onyx, Peer of Golden Apes. Get comfortable for we will be plumbing the inky depths of your gothic mind. Coffee might be a good choice of beverage on such journeys.

It´s here in my hand, bottomless and tasty but I have to be careful, cause the tracks seem quite battered…love the sound though. Sceneries are passing…fields and caves, skies and electricity…. Just a bit annoyed by the guy next to me who´s muttering weird sentences the whole time, nodding unwaveringly in the rhythm of the wheels. I don’t get it….but I´m glad that no one is here with me in the compartment…a reservoir dam…comfortable…

Golden Apes has been around for 24 years. When you first started the band, did you think that you would still be doing this more than 2 decades later?

Heaven…why should I have even done this! When we started the whole thing some handful of years ago, the last thing on our mind was a scheme, a concept, a plan…it was all about the now, the moment of being in the room and creating music together. I mean we were all in our twenties and idealism commonly fucks with strategic thinking…as a twenty-year-old boy with the idea of how it will be when you´re forty! No, we just made our way hand over hand along the next song, the next album, the next show. And somehow it seems that this enthusiasm has never left us.

GOLDEN APES has never been a big player in the game, no money-machine, no bold headline and let´s be honest – I´m quite glad about. No opportunism, just the realization that this might be the reason why we made it that long. We always nursed the freedom to do what we want whenever we felt for and this kept the muses attractive, kept the fire ablaze. Yes, I´m proud of all the things we did and faced over the last two decades, all the places and all the faces because it´s so much beyond anything those 3 boys could have visioned back then while torturing their amps….

Germany has been a fertile place for the gothic scene. Why do you think that is and what was the scene like when you first started the band?

It´s an interesting question and worth a more scientific approach than my humble view on things to find a satisfying answer. There might be so many reasons…geopolitical ones, socio-cultural ones, historical ones….a maltreated continent, a muddy pud of origins, roots and culture, a conflict of generations, rebellion, a desire for a new identity and values, economic imbalances, iron curtains and existential fragilities…Central Europe and especially Germany has always been a hotspot for uproar and rebellion.

Let´s jump from 1968 to 1989, from the leftist activities of the late 70´s to the rightist disgrace in the mid 90´s. The common link is the rejection and questioning of values and morals of the parental generation and a youth´s desire to reshape and redefine an identity and a heritage-linked context (consequently in both directions in both parts of Germany). I think it was this uncoupling from the past and the realization of the future as a blank page that led to a lot of experimentation and alternative ways of life (or to the more nihilistic approach when it comes to punk). As with art and ways of expression. Look what happened to music when the ones like Neu! or Kraftwerk brought it near to magnetic coils! Or the whole Post-Punk (aka Neue Deutsche Welle) Petri dish in and around Düsseldorf. The avantgardistic melting pot West Berlin.

I mean Germany was the cradle of Romanticism, so it seems obvious that Goth found a proper habitat here… Heaven, so much theory. The guy next to me is humming concerningly… What was the scene like? Exciting. Berlin was a good place to be in the mid-nineties. The whole sub-culture/underground organism was growing, expanding, trans-mutating,..there were so many clubs, venues, events…official, illegal, elitist, debatable…but of course this is just an evaluation linked to a certain time and the perception and condition of the protagonist. Of course, most of the spots doesn’t exist anymore, most of the cast has moved on and genres had their ups and downs but that does not mean that I think the modern scene is boring. You’ve just changed your point of view. I’m quite sure that a lot of kids out there feel the same rush, rapture and stimulating input like we did back then…

Do you think the gothic/industrial scene has changed in those years?

Would be sad if not, or? I think it’s necessary and essential that an organism keeps developing. It has to grow, it has to expand, it has to deal with conditions and circumstances, it has to swallow things up and spit things out, occupy new areas and leave familiar ones… I´m not the most reliable mirror though cause my point of view was and is always at the edge of things but yes, I´d say the whole scene has changed a lot over the years. Definitions became more blurry and so created interesting stylistic intersections and I think the acceptance of external influences has grown a lot, what is essential imho (in my humble opinion). A state of mind is always a reflection of the position within the system of coordinates and so is art….

So how and why did Golden Apes become a band?

We have stopped. Half-way on an open field. Is there really no horizon or is just the sun dazzling? Decent headaches and the guy gets shaky. There is a noise out there…some kind of hissing or scratching….is it from the wires above? Or from the mouth of the woman starring through the door inside the compartment? There´s no seat vacant, go on! There´s no seat vacant, there´s no one here…but how and why? How and why?

How and why does a band becomes a band? I don´t know. I can´t even point on a certain moment in time and say: That´s the beginning of the timeline. Maybe something like a band appeared for the first time when Christian and I met our guitarist/founding-/longtime member Eric for the first time back in 1998? Or was it when we finished the first song together? Just the three of us, a vintage drum machine and a cheesy keyboard, sitting on the floor of my flat and playing our hearts out, with no idea about the fact that 24 years later Eric is long gone, we’ve made 10 albums so far, toured Russia and the US of A, met so many exciting bands and artists along the way and I´ll sit here now and answer a question asked on the other side of the globe? Yes, maybe that was the moment. No thunder from above and no whispered oath by candle light, no subterranean rush of fog, lights and alcohol, no palpable deflection on the historico-cultural measuring tool – just a song, first floor, somewhere in Berlin…

The first EP you self released in 1999 was “The Outside’s Inner Life”, notably with the cover of The Cure’s “The Figurehead” and in 2000 released your debut album “Stigma 3:am”. Looking back at those, how do you think your sound has changed or progressed over the years?

I really, really, really hope that it did. On my knees, hands folded…. Don’t get me wrong – it´s not about regrets or denying any kind of past or things we did then but about aspiration, motivation, balance and expectations…and most important: calm. The realization that things take time and that the bottom of the sea might be deeper than the surface pretends. I honestly enjoy walking down the memory lane to the early years. They were filled with so much excitement and naïve storminess, with so much enthusiasm and so less filters and I´m so happy about the fact that we were able to keep some of those things with us all along the way. But did the music really change? I even don´t know. Somehow I even think that “Stigma” is closer to “MALVS” or “Kasbek” than anything between. But who am I to judge…

2019 saw the album “Kasbek” released and then all went silent from the Golden Apes apart from the single “Satori”. Also, Peer, you had started your solo venture, Voyna and covid hit us. What was happening between 2020 and 2022?

A quite strange period indeed. For the first time since the moments I talked about above, there was a moment of doubt if the band was still alive after all. After leaving Kasbek ways parted and somehow I never even thought this could happen. It was a strange moment to be honest. Of course it was not the first time that opinions differed, directions turned, lives changed and people left but here it was completely without having a plan B…and the people were very special to me. So Christian and me decided to take a little time out, some moments to take a deep breath and let the waters calm. I mean this whole pandemic interlude was a quite perfect occasion for this. Inventory…table of content.

As early as the end of 2019 I was working on some ideas for something that would become “The Cinvat Bridge” a bit later and it was quite time- and thoughts-consuming, so the band causa was put a bit on hold for moment but of course it wasn´t meant to end like this. Having “Parting” as the last song ever recorded would have been a bit too much pathetic! And so we had the idea to send some sign of life out there, some sort of “We´re well, hope you too”. “Satori” was written quite quickly and with the help of Denis Ivanov (Brandenburg) and Thommy Hein we went into the studio and the both of us made that little video. And it all felt quite good. There wasn´t even anything missing for a second. Felt familiar. But of course it was just a placebo condition…and there were still some vacant chairs in the room… What was the next question about?

There are new member of the band. Could they be introduced to the readers please?

More than a pleasure! (For this is not about importance, hierarchy and sympathies I´ll introduce them chronologically!)

Frank was the first who joined us on guitars last autumn. Retro audition. A simple ad on a musician board. Fortunate coincidence….lucky us.

Gerrit is a musical old stager. He´s been around for a while already, with a lot of different outfits…most notably Frank The Baptist maybe. And this was also the segment where the ways were crossing. You know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone…Berlin is a clachan when it comes to this. Really glad that he´s with us now.

Joe on drums is the latest in the league. Strange situation – although he´s already with us for a moment (he knew someone, who knew someone, who knew Gerrit…) and takes credits for the drums on the “From the Sky” EP, we still wait for our common live debut, cause unfortunately he wasn´t available for our little US-tour. So we´re all excited about autumn…

And I have to confess that I really like this constellation. Feels comfortable…seems the chemistry is right…

So, now it is 2022, there are new members and the release of your new EP, “From the Sky” which is beautifully rich sounding. How did the EP come together?

It was a logical step in the end. After doing a few shows together (still with the drum machine) we all felt that we seemed to be in tune, on a personal level and on the musical one, of course. And so we wanted to find out how it will work and feel in a creative process. “Satori” felt like yesterday´s news meanwhile and I already had prepared some 20 or so demos for….all possible contingencies and so we chose the 4 that made up the EP in the end and decided to put them out. A sonic foundation stone so to say.

And I hope the proof is acoustically irrefutable – it also worked in a creative process.

Why was “Satori” included into the EP?

Cause it felt so lonely out there. It neither saw a physical release nor was it ever embedded in a musical context. It felt not even like a distinct, concluded chapter and so we removed some dust from its surface and gave a late home.

The single is also the title track, “From The Sky”. What prompted you to choose this track?

Although I remember that we even had a few words about it during the last moments of recording, there was never a real serious discussion about. We all just love it. It was the right tune to come up with after all this silence. Especially in the relation to the new cast. The energetic drumming, the rich and massive guitars…the perfect status quo.

The music video is extremely interesting with a mixture of what looks like alchemy and the natural world. How does this tie into the song?

If you´ve seen some of our videos (we´re quite lazy with that I have to confess) then you might have realized that I like to use the song more as soundtrack than creating an visual explanation. Its more an adding of meaning in both directions. The visuals can unveil possible new or alternate interpretations to the words, while the music feeds the pictures with atmosphere and clues. But it´s never separated then both share the same metaphorical location. Maybe the words are just a memory of one of the guys in the video? Or are the moving pictures the prequel to what the song is about? The things happened after?

I like to have those unanswered questions. Think about the video´s opening sequence…it is all in the same head, it´s all under the same sky… …the woman is still there. She´s pressing her forehead against the windowpane. No noise in her eyes although the birds get nervous in their treetops. It is autumn all of sudden…winter, spring…easter fires in the passing hills…ridges of reptiles. There are just a few stars in the sky tonight. Tiny, inverted punctures…zodiacs on her skin. I shouldn´t have talked about her! I shouldn´t even think about her! Autumn again…

The Voyna remix was a really interesting contrast in style using only electronics? What was the inspiration?

Having this VOYNA identity is a very satisfying luxury. All parameters are in your own hands only. Time, angle, point of view, scenery and costumes…I think I wanted to know how this song would sound if I would have made it on my own. No band, no additional input, just me and my limited instrumental skills. It is like one story retold by two different persons…it differs in details, in perspective, in things perceived as important. What would the woman tell about me now?

My favourite track is “Hole (In My Head)” as I love that fusion of noise with something rather otherworldly. Do you have a favourite track off the EP or one you are excited to play live?

I´m quite sure that everyone has his own favorite among the tracks. And I´m quite sure that the reasons for this are as different as the same story retold by two different persons. For me it really depends on the season in my head and the way the rain falls but the few shows so far revealed that it´s exciting to play any of them…collectively spoken…

When I hear the lyrics, it reminds me a little of those early post-punk/gothic bands but also descriptive like a book. Where do you get your inspiration for your music?

Lyrics or music? No matter because it has all the same origins. How does it find us? It comes by cellular division, comes with the erythrocytes and leucocytes. It occupies with every lung expanding, with every molecule passing your pharynx. It finds you by the neurons twitching, synapses twinkling…. circuits. Electricity again….

As I have previously said, your music can sound otherworldly? What is it about the mystical and shadowy worlds that attracts you to write about them?

Again I just can answer this from a personal point of view only, although I think that there might be some parallels. The first band of this “genre” that found me lost in its music was The Cure. I was twelve when “Disintegration” was released and it´s fatal what this kind of melancholy and weltschmerz can do to a 12-year-old boy! And from there the roads got serpentines. There was lot of Joy Division, there were the Fields Of The Nephilim, Mister Nick Cave passed by with “Henry´s Dream” and “Let Love In”, Cocteau Twins and the other 4AD Perseids and I finally gave my heart to The Psychedelic Furs. Wild and passionate romances…and then came David Bowie…

What is it that makes things so attractive which act as the perfect Yang to that rational Ying we call reality? Those corridors, stairwells and false floors in our mind we learned to deny for not feeling guilty while blinded by the blazing light of ratio and common sense? Why are we so irritated but attracted by the laws and logics in our dreams, by the language in which our subconscious is whispering to us? I don’t know. I have to think about…

Was Covid a help or a hindrance in recording the EP?

That pandemic didn´t play any essential role in the recordings to be honest. When we went into the studio in early February it felt gracefully normal to wear a mask while sitting in the control room. Clean hands, clean heads…after that long time a lot of things became routine.

Peer you have such a deep lush baritone vocal range, so does singing in such a low register, sometimes become an issue when recording or playing live?

Even when trying to answer with a bit more syllables than just a “no” – the only reasonable answer to this is that “no”. It´s my voice. I got used to it.

Going to have to ask, being brothers in a band, is that easy or do you have monumental grumpy moments? Obviously you both have a strong family tie though but does that sometimes make decisions difficult?

Somehow it´s strange but while entering the rehearsal room we completely cast off any blood ties, so if there are moments of troubles, they´re not caused by a genetic relationship. We are friends then, like anyone else in the room. It´s more the fact that we both navigate this ship for more than twenty years together now, which binds us together on certain elitist level but that´s just a mental bond, no hierarchic preponderance…

Golden Apes are touring again. How excited are you to be back out there again?

Endlessly. I think we all are still drawing on those days across the ocean we had in May. Although it was quite helpful on the one hand to have some time off for focusing on new music and things, on the other hand it is really time. Ready to hit the road in 3, 2, 1…

The music we listen to in our formative years molds our tastes in a way. Which bands or individuals did you listen to or fall in love that got you into this genre?

Do you listen to modern music? I ask because many say they do not stray from their first loves. If you do, who inspires you now?

To be honest I´m temporarily not really into contemporary music, especially when it comes to this particular genre. I even don’t know why precisely. I´m still a fervent admirer of Russia’s musical underground/sub-culture, cause there´s a lot of exciting, progressive and maverick music to find ( – that´s why it was additionally special to tour there and meet lots of brilliant bands and artists), but recently music became more and more a tool for triggering and adjusting atmospheres and sceneries in my head. I´m addicted to the music of the late Harold Budd, couldn´t live without the sonic soundscapes of Brock Van Wey, Moon ate The Dark, John Foxx, Eraldo Bernocchi, Robin Guthrie…it´s the depth of the water I´m into these days, not the height of the waves…

If someone asked you to record 10 cover songs what would they be?!

I was quickly channeling the other guys and the ouija board told that we´d like to reinterpret 10 songs from the latest VOYNA album…

We hear there is basically a new album already written. When might this be unleashed on the world and what else in the future for Golden Apes?

It´s a fetus so far with about 15 demos hand-picked and one by one we´re dealing with it now. There´s even the chance to hear some of them at the upcoming shows but maybe this is more than I’m allowed to tell. The idea was to enter the studio anytime next year and then we will see. Would be nice to have it out in 2023.

…now I remember her face! It was her the whole time! The fire, the noise in the walls, the solar spots, the read rope in the window, the injections…the crazed promises back then in Delphi…How could I forget……?

Thank you dear Peer for your time, an EP that is epic and I bid you safe travels.

Thanks for the coffee and your words. It was more than a pleasure…

From The Sky | Golden Apes (bandcamp.com)

Golden Apes | Facebook

http://www.goldenapes.com/

I literally made my head hurt thinking about what post post-punk is… Anyway, so we will tell you about Melbourne group, Leaching, with their debut single “Radiate“. It was released on the 18th of August and it is the epitome of post-punk style, with the extra bonus of two b-sides which are not exactly b-sides… but we will get to that..

There is something so simple to the music that transports me back to the 80s. Maybe it is the guitars or the staccato drum beats from the machine or the fact the synths swirl in the depths below the guitar or it could be the echoing and slightly aloof vocals in “Radiate“. The second track is a cover of the Go Gos track, “Automatic” written by Jane Wiedlin. Leaching’s version actually might be faster than the original and it is far more filled with the sounds of electronics, which flow nicely. “Commit Then Redefine” is the last track, tortured and twisted around the guitars. A funeral dirge worthy of the Pornography era Cure.

So “Radiate” is the announcement that Leaching has arrived, “Automatic” is there because maybe this was a defining song for Steven Smith, who wrote the other two tracks and pretty much plays all the instruments on this recording as well as the vocals. September sees their first album, End Themes released on Spooky Records, so “Commit And Redefine” is a preview cut to entice you. Are you enticed yet? We rate this single ‘I would definitely go to the pub to hear them live!‘ just on the strength of listening to “Radiate“.

Radiate Single | Leaching (bandcamp.com)

Leaching | Facebook

https://www.instagram.com/leachingband/

There is some “Silent Love” coming at you from Montreal, in the form of a single by The Ember Glows. Richard Bunze (guitar), Kevin Hills (bass), Martin Saint (voice, guitar) and Dan Stefik (drums), make up this indie/new wave band, that came into being in 2019.

It is definitely a guitar driven sound, strong bass, rhythm and lead, jangling in a heady fusion, while the vocals sits above them, never lost in the string’s pealing notes and chords.

I can definitely hear why this group is compared to Echo And The Bunnymen, with similar guitar arrangements and the vocals having that soaring quality, though not the same timbre as Ian McCulloch. It is a track full of sweet sentiment, of being there in another’s darkest moments, even if it just to help hold back the invasive dreams by holding their hand through the night.

SILENT LOVE | The Ember Glows (bandcamp.com)

The Ember Glows | Facebook

emberglows (@emberglowsband) • Instagram photos and videos

Post-punk/goth is probably my favourite genre, if people haven’t gathered yet. Yes, today we get to talk about Pete Burn’s project, Kill Shelter, and the new full length album, Asylum, a theme continued through the whole release about finding escape and safety, in all forms. Interestingly, there are two versions out, with the European version on Manic Depression Records and the US on Metropolis Records. What makes these versions different you might ask? Each has two tracks only found on that particular version and we are looking at the European.

And so with the vocals of the man himself, Pete Burns, we are hit with the first track “Time Will Come” as it pulsates with a menacing overtone. For a man that rarely sings on his tracks, he sure has a great voice and his guitar playing in on point. The second single recently released, is “In This Place” with Stefan Netschio of Beborn Beton and it has this amazingly heavy ambiance, as in abandon all hope behind you. The music is stalking and promises a violence below the surface. There is a sparking quailty to the synths while Valentine Veil (VV & The Void) sweetly tells you she is the “Queen Of Hearts” that are broken and your house of cards might collapse at any moment. The guitars ring out the warning as the synths swirl. Antipole are long time collaborators and “Buried Deep” is the track with deep vocalisation of fathomless loss, a weight that is far too much for the soul. What do you have when someone takes everything away? It is achingly somber. There is something sad, sleazy and a little dingy about “A Room“. This instrumental gives the impression of being trapped almost.

The Necklace” featuring Agent Side Grinder was the first stunning single to be released. It only gets better with each listen with those wondrous snaking guitars and stark synths against Emanuel Aström’s singing. Ash Code are helping to “Feed The Fire” and those first guitar chords remind me so much of early Cult. But other than the guitar, this is where the similarities end, the drum machine savage in its beating and the synths trickle down. I love the beginning to end of “Cover Me” featuring William Faith of The Bellweather Syndicate and it just rings so utterly pure in gorgeous waves of guitar versus electronics, with Faith’s ever so crystal and plaintive vocals. “All Of This” features Ronny Moorings (Clan Of Xymox) and there is a heavy accent on the electronic side. Moorings really does make this his own track and it could honestly easily fit into a Clan Of Xymox album, headily dark and brooding. We finish with the melancholic instrumental piece,”A Shadow Of Doubt” which feels as ancient as time, foreboding and cataclysmic.

It is written on the album that it is also a celebration of 40 years of the post-punk scene (stop reminding me!!) and you can most definitely hear that reflected in the music. From the jangle of the guitars to the use of electronics and drum machines, post-punk began in an era that was dark and gloomy. The UK was at war with the IRA, the Falkland War and even with their own people, with Thatcher at the helm. Globally, we looked to
the USSR and nervously watched on for our inevitable nuclear annihilation, which luckily never came but it left an indelible mark on that generation, so that dark and wonderful bass lead music has permeated goth, darkwave etc. It is has made beautiful songs about love and lost love but it has also been a political call to arms, calling out injustices. I think this album has a lot of heart. Musically, Asylum really has everything you could want, with fantastic melodies and brilliant collaborations but the kicker is the humanity at its core.

Asylum [European Version] | Kill Shelter (bandcamp.com)

Asylum [US Version] | Kill Shelter (bandcamp.com)

Kill Shelter | Facebook

Berlin band, Golden Apes, have returned with a new EP, From The Sky, released on July the 29th, out on Icy Cold Records. You know anything recorded at places called Blackstone Studios & The House of Zarathustra have got to be good. Peer Lebrecht (music, words, synths, vocals) and Christian Lebrecht (bass) are the founding members, joined by Gerrit Haasler (guitars), Frank Flenz (guitars) and Joe Tyburn (drums) making up the Golden Apes, and we might soon be graced by a new album in the future, because even though there has been a little bit of a break since the last full length release, Kasbek in 2019, does not mean music has not been in the collation……

Title track and first single lifted is of course “From The Sky“, and the first notes roll into a torrent of wondrous sound, taking flight. It is glorious to hear the guitars and Peer’s sonorous vocalisation with a tale of falling from grace due to secrets held. “Hold Me” isn’t quite the ballad you might think from the name, full of fear and pain but also hope that another’s touch will anchor your soul. A sentiment echoed by many who desire contact.. There is something very sensual about “A New Day’s Dawn” but also driving as the guitars push this along with the mammoth drumming. I would happily dance away to this and I have a feeling the track is going to amazing live.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, then there is the whirling “Hole (In My Head)“. A wall of angelic sound and it is mesmerising. The track ebbs and rushes you making this feel as old as magic. “Satori” was a single released originally in 2021, but for the EP it has been given a make-over called the 2022 Mix. It is a beautiful track, a ballad of love and passion in limbo. The last track is the Gravitas mix for “From The Sky“, by Voyna. Those familiar with Voyna, will know this is the name of Peer Lebrecht’s solo project. The mix is devoid of guitars in preference for synths, which of course brings a new facet to the track, surreal and mirrored, seemingly otherworldly.

Errmm….God damn, I love those deep rich vocals from Peer Lebrecht. They are like sweet syrup pouring into your ears. The music itself is equally as satisfying, forbidden dark wine given to you to savour and become drunk on with the gothic headiness and textures. Golden Apes are in fine form with “From The Sky“, which points to the fact that the next album might just have us intoxicated..

From The Sky | Golden Apes (bandcamp.com)

GOLDEN APES

Music | Icy Cold Records (bandcamp.com)

Icy Cold Records | Facebook

Melbourne band, Roles, are about to unleash their debut album of post-punk/art pop goodness….I know this because I have been privileged to an early listen.

But before the drop of the album, Roles are doing something a little special. In line with their artistic pursuit of music, they will be giving registered participants, an opportunity to be part of a five day, rolling event for the album, There’s A Space.

En-Roles-ees will be immersed in the music, videos, art, reflections, bonus material and behind the scene scoops of how the album was created. It all kicks off on the 2nd of August, 2022 and you will be lucky enough to get all ten songs for free, before anyone else. So to register go to https://rolesband.com/retreat/.

The duo have created an album with the synths of Luis Gutiérrez, that remind you of early Gary Numan, while the soft feminine vocals of Louise Love, often clash with her far more fuzzed out guitar playing, with their beat perfect drum machine keeping tempo. It is about the art of words that can transport you and are only limited by your imagination. Often these words have been found in audio recordings and interviews, given new life and gifted back for others to hear.

https://roles.bandcamp.com/

https://rolesband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RolesBand

https://www.instagram.com/rolesband/?fbclid=IwAR3vA-9f3WGEGWVFvrIeGmkpelPfLxoQWprkUjTYfOvmq-8H5tHs9o_oSyA

Bradford, in the north of England, known for their working class pride and also for their musical storytellers. This brings us to the pairing of Nick Toczek & Signia Alpha for the album, The Columbus Memoirs, released on the 4th of June. Nick Toczek is a ranting poet (as in they emotionally air their grievances in angry monologue and normally in the form of free verse), while Signia Alpha is Matt Webster, supported by a revolving retinue of musicians, creating post-punk style music incoporating funk, jazz and indie rock.

The first track “The Hour Glass” is literally about time and how there is never enough of it. The guitars wail in a cacophony of noise and it is wonderful plus I am sure I heard a flute. There is a near aching colonial sadness in “Another Shoreline” as the music ebbs and flows as a ship on the ocean. A track about the movement of slaves for the advancement of Imperialism and capital gain which comes with a loss of culture and identity. There might be a slight nod to the sound track War Of The Worlds, especially in mentioning H.G.Wells with the track “Time Tripper” in the wandering guitars and it is not aliens but rather can the Earth survive the human race’s selfish ways.

The psych-funk is strong in “Threads” with amazing bass thumping through the track as Toczek contemplates how technology has changed the world and everyone is being watched. The tempo changes and swings before we are given the next piece, “Dead Lines” because while the print press was huge at the end of a second world war, there is an air of live for now and excess…maybe they were dead inside and the music reflects the era of glamorous jazz filled soirees, at high end bars. “Just For A Moment” is a simple lament for a lost one and the sax reaches into your soul to touch that memory, so real.

With “Moonwatchers“, for me is like, looking at the night sky and the moon as a child, with a wild imagination that conjures up all sorts of stories, which some of us never grow out of. A lightness and joy in reveling in the darkness, the edge of where reality and lore meet in the inky hours. The 60s funk is dripping through with “Four And A Half“, a tale of youth and a telling of past experiences with near fatal consequences, sucking you in with the true events. For the title track, “The Columbus Memoirs“, North America is similar to a pop-up book, watching a strange amalgamation of that nation’s history, the oddities that make it what it is. I don’t think Columbus would recognise the America he first stood on to claim for Spain. I listen to this and cannot help to hear a line from a song of the band, The Church, Oh Columbus, I never should have let you go. The final track, “Dignity“, is straight out sleazy rock. A song for the survivors, the refugees, the tortured and maimed, to whom the world turns a blind eye and yet deserve so much more than being told they are a burden and should be grateful for a handful of dust.

The level of musicianship is stellar. Webster has really got some top notch talent to help out, which includes Paul Gray (The Damned) playing on four of the tracks. It is political at times and that is the raw punk edge showing but also wistful and even tender tinged sadness, all by using voice of a wordsmith while the music gives those words greater weight and emotional depth. I think the poetry is masterfully woven throughout and the instruments given their own voice in a story, that as of yet, has not an end.

The Columbus Memoirs | Nick Toczek & Signia Alpha (bandcamp.com)

Nick Toczek & Signia Alpha | Facebook

Signia Alpha | Facebook

I am not sure what is going on in Portland, Oregon, but I feel a little disturbed. Why disturbing? Because there seems to be a wealth of good acts from this one place. Brought to my attention is this band called Darkswoon, with their single, Eaten By Wolves, released on May the 27th in the form of an EP, which is off the soon to be released album, Bloom Decay. The single is accompanied by three other tracks, one off a soundtrack and the other two, remixes.

The title track, “Eaten By Wolves” has this beautiful flow that reminds me a little of Ride, though far more electronic, with the drum machine keeping time as the vocals, so gorgeously clean, cleave their way across the music, while the synths vie with the guitar.

Ruin(2020) is such an oddity. It is about waiting for the one who will complete you but also seems quite dark when mentioning the fact when they die, their family will get the body….though I found it rather amusing as well. It is an uptempo sounding track, with the swirling shoegaze guitars and entwining vocals, that drag you away to another place.

Really like the electronic start to “Human Faults“, mixed by experimental electronic Portland act, We Are Parasols. Heavy and light tones invaded by the altered ghostly vocals. This has an amazing soundscape feel to it, stretching out into the buzzing aether, married to a danceable rhythm.

Final song and it is another cracker of a dance mix. “Fireplace“, the Sn<che mix, is pure joy, in the vein of Boy Harsher. A cacophony of sound with those marvellous staccato vocals that fold into soaring melodies, which fade into a mist filled end.

Holy crap. I love it. Darkswoon, where have you been hiding? Synthpop grace, coupled with shoegaze wisps and emotion filled vocals. In a word, sublime and the remixes are utterly on point, really rounding out the EP. After listening to this, you might want to be Eaten By Wolves.

Eaten By Wolves EP | Darkswoon (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/darkswoon.pdx/

Music | We Are Parasols (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/weareparasols/