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.
I suspect a handful of you remember when I was all up in my feels about longtime The Cure bassist Simon Gallup’s departure from the band a few months ago. The news had me so distraught I couldn’t even put together celebratory words about my most recent crate-digging discovery, Anything Box’s Peace LP. Imagine my joy then Friday when news hit the Twitterverse of Gallup confirming he’s still in/rejoined the band. Stop toying with my emotions Simon!
And here’s more good news from the goth/new wave/post-punk landscape.
Hot on the heels of their fourth album Screen Violence, CHVRCHES follow-up with their cover of Gerard McMann’s cult-classic “Cry Little Sister,” taken from Netflix’s Nightbooks. Originally made famous as the theme music from 1987’s The Lost Boys, CHVRCHES add synth textures and ethereal vocals to create a hauntingly beautiful rendition of a timeless classic. The song will be featured on the film’s soundtrack, which also includes the score from Michael Abels (Get Out, Us).
Curious Creatures, a podcast hosted by Lol Tolhurst (co-founder of The Cure) and Budgie (of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Slits, Big in Japan, and The Creatures) recently debuted with an interview with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. The duo have over 100 years of combined experience to draw upon since their beginnings as punk pioneers and the podcast is an absolutely captivating listen. Tune in post haste!
Los Angeles-via-Sydney’s Death Bells (Dais Records) – the long-running musical collaboration between Will Canning and Remy Veselis – have released a glamorous, ominous new single, “Intruder.” The track surfaces just ahead of the group’s West Coast tour which spans from November 4 through 18. Their first new output since April’s release of the live performance and recording Live from Bombay, this new song perfectly displays Canning’s exquisite baritone and haunting lyrics set against the kinetic sonic backdrop provided by Veselis.
Interpol have begun work on their seventh studio album with producers Flood & Moulder. It follows Marauder, their acclaimed 2018 release. Flood & Moulder – whose work together includes Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins – won a BRIT Award for Foals’ Holy Fire in 2014. Interpol are currently recording in London with the new album expected next year on Matador Records. The band have also already announced 2022 shows at the Rose Bowl in LA headlining Just Like Heaven Fest, Mexico City’s Palacio De Los Deportes, and Primavera Sound in Barcelona where they will also perform as a headliner.
Underground coldwave duo The KVB are back with their most potent and immediate record yet. Produced and mixed by Andy Savours (Black Country New Road, My Bloody Valentine, The Horrors), Unity represents an exciting development in the band’s sonic journey and will be released on November 26 via Invada Records. Across the album’s ten songs, The KVB masterfully pull together all their trademark components; radiant guitars, textural synths and an ear for a moody, brooding melody all presented with a renewed dynamism.
Earlier this year, West Texas post-punk trio Lesser Care self-released their “Palm”/”Acquired Taste” 7″ to much buzz. In advance of their Fall tour, which runs October 27 to November 5, the band has also announced that they’ve signed to A La Carte Records and plan to release their debut LP in Spring 2022. More to come on that in a future Shadow Plays… [disclosure: Lesser Care is a client of Sweet Cheetah Publicity]
It’s been two decades since Soft Cell last released an album, but the influential synth-pop duo still provokes a huge amount of public fascination. News of their upcoming fifth studio set *Happiness Not Included sparked international attention and recently frontman Marc Almond and producer/instrumentalist Dave Ball shared the album’s first official single ‘Bruises On My Illusions’. The single is available now digitally, with CD and 12” vinyl singles available for preorder. “Bruises On My Illusions” possesses a baroque-meets-gothic ambiance, with Ball’s ominous yet dramatic synths supplementing the mood cast by Marc Almond’s evocative lyricism. Soft Cell will be previewing tracks from *Happiness Not Included alongside their greatest hits, as well as performing their seminal 1981 debut album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret in full for the first time in a series of live shows this autumn.
Although Portland’s Soft Kill recently announced cancellation of their support for the upcoming Lemonheads tour, there are two new opportunities to see them in 2021-22. First, the band has announced a handful of dates on the West Coast with punk legends X. The run precedes a massive tour in 2022 with Alien Boy and Topographies. If I were a betting man, my money would be on this being the best package tour of next year. [disclosure: Soft Kill is a client of Sweet Cheetah Publicity]
Earlier this month Tears For Fears announced their first new studio album in nearly two decades, The Tipping Point, arriving February 25, 2022 via Concord Records. Alongside this announcement they’ve released their first single and the title track, “The Tipping Point.” Written by Roland Orzabal and guitarist, writer and producer Charlton Pettus and co-produced by the band, Sacha Skarbek, and Florian Reutter, the explosive yet intimate track is filled to the brim with emotion. Inspired by a personal tipping point in Orzabal’s own life, this song captures the grief of watching someone you love lose their long-standing battle with disease. The accompanying visual, directed by the famed Matt Mahurin (Joni Mitchell, U2, Metallica), depicts the subtle and poetic portrait of imbalance.
On October 15, Scott von Ryper (The Jesus and Mary Chain/Black Ryder) made his solo debut with an LP titled Dream State Treasure via Tran-si-ent Records in conjunction with SilverDoor Music. Primarily recorded and mixed in his home studio between 2018-2020, von Ryper used the break from touring and isolation in 2020 to explore sonic themes that he had experimented with early in his career when still recording on a four-track, but just now producing them on a much grander scale, playing most of the instruments, recording, producing and mixing the majority of the record himself. Additional recording comes from Los Angeles engineer Norm Block, who also played drums on the record. The album’s final single, “Pulse” is offers a whirlwind of acoustic and distorted guitars, drum machine and synth.
Finally, Sell The Heart Records (U.S.) and Engineer Records (UK) will be releasing a “new” full-length album from the Bay Area’s States of Nature on November 19. The album collects the quartet’s three previous EPs and offers two additional brand new, unreleased tracks. Featuring members of Dead To Me, and Everybody Row, States of Nature blends ’90s era Dischord attitude with modern day, post-punk-influenced indie rock to bring a fresh take on a familiar sound. Dueling vocals, shouty, yet memorable hooks, and strong counterpointed movements are the result of States of Nature’s rock n’ roll frenzy. The band recently shared their video for “Light and Seed,” a track that showcases the groups passionate post-punk tendencies. [disclosure: States of Nature is a client of Sweet Cheetah Publicity]