Words by Tim Anderl
Tim Anderl is a Dayton, Ohio-based writer whose work has published in Alternative Press, Strength Skateboarding, Ghettoblaster, New Noise Magazine among other alternative weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications/blogs. He’s the former host of the Sound Check Chat podcast and runs a boutique PR firm, Sweet Cheetah Publicity. Growing up in the rich culture of the ’80s lead Tim to a life-long love of music, including post-punk, new wave, darkwave, goth, dream pop.
Although hopes of 2021 being significantly different than 2020, these continue to be weird and uncertain times. I’m not sure there is much new to say that hasn’t been said in previous columns. New music from The Psychedelic Furs, and the promise of new music from well established newer comers are certainly a distraction from the monotony of teleworking, increasingly polarized political discussion, and climbing COVID cases for me. So pull up with a nice glass of horse dewormer (I kid, I kid) and enjoy.
Austin, Texas’ The Belle Sounds recently released a new EP, All About Love. The Austin, Texas-based synth pop group’s latest release was inspired by last year’s lockdown and all the emotional highs and lows that went along with making music and living life during the pandemic. The sound of the EP is rich with ’80s influence mixed with modern touches, with shimmering synths, lush guitars, and rich with vocal harmonies They also had Danny Reisch (Shearwater/Other Lives and producer at Good Danny’s) add drums and programming on ‘Crush,’ Evan Hutchings (longtime session drummer for the band) on ‘The Bloodline’ and Daniel Creamer (Shakey Graves/The Texas Gentleman) on additional synths for ‘All About Love.’ This masterful effort harkens to the golden era of synth-pop.”
Darkwave up-and-comers Deathsomnia released their debut You Will Never Find Peace this month. The creative synergy between multi-instrumentalist members —Sammel and Russo, joined by Richard Powley (Telepathy)— and their individual punk, hardcore and electronica backgrounds, are the source for You Will Never Find Peace’s unique dystopian punk and industrial sound and genre-bending originality. Their groovy riffs and crashing percussions draw influences from Wipers, Dead Moon, Health and Godflesh, the beguiling vocal melodies are dressed with Depeche Mode and Primal Scream undertones. See Deathsomnia on tour this year and next in Europe and the U.K. with She Past Away, Godflesh and others.
Glass Spells have released their nostalgia-soaked album, Shattered via Negative Gain. The band’s haunting yet futuristic synth melodies mix with luminous female vocals and soar with a sense of longing. The band has garnered attention in the underground music scene by fusing a melange of styles culled from the best of classic indie, post-punk, darkwave, and modern synthpop.
Brooklyn’s Nation of Language have shared the latest single, “A Word & A Wave from their forthcoming sophomore album, A Way Forward, due out November 5. “A Word & A Wave,” was produced by Nick Milhiser of Holy Ghost!. Having returned to the stage last month, for a sold out, home borough performance, the band performs a trio of shows in Philadelphia, New York and Boston, before hitting The Governors Ball, September 25 and heading out on their first ever headlining tour of the U.S., October 2 – 31.
Philadelphia’s Nothing release The Great Dismal B-Sides, via Relapse Records on October 8. A collection of tracks recorded during the band’s critically acclaimed The Great Dismalsessions, the b-Sides unearth three new songs. In support of the new extended release, the band also revealed a run of fall North American tour dates.In reference to the b-sides, vocalist Domenic Palermo stated: “The world disparity and surreal circumstances that occupied all corners of life while attempting to write and record this album were so overly animated that the songs couldn’t help but be contaminated. Trimming away at the layers to negotiate with time felt akin to ripping out whole chapters out of a novel. The reasoning behind having this be physically released in the first place, and a big part we left the title track off was to make that eventual and necessary connection.”
Post-punk veterans The Psychedelic Furs, who released their first new album in 20 years – Made of Rain – in 2020, have released more new music in advance of their long-delayed U.S. tour in support of the album (the U.K. dates have just been cancelled, so fingers crossed). “Stand-alone single “Evergreen” is a gripping, moody and mysterious new song that, as always, showcases Richard Butler’s powerful and icy baritone.
Additionally, Gail Ann Dorsey, who is known for her tenure as bassist in David Bowie’s band launched a GoFund Me page this month in support of longtime PFurs guitarist John Ashton, who is currently battling stage-4 prostate cancer. If you’re compelled, please consider donating.
Cleveland, Ohio post-punks Terrycloth Mother, whose dark and dreamy soundscapes and lyrical odes to the surrealistic horror of our modern world, are set to release their debut LP on October 15. While the quartet offers a sound that is 100 percent their own, it isn’t uncommon to pick up flourishes and nods at the many bands that inspire them such as Radiohead, Editors, Interpol and Pink Floyd. The album also features contributions from Antoine Canon (trumpet) and Sophoulla Gibson (vocals), both of whom live in the UK and appear on “Weight of the World.”