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.
As the year winds down I inevitably find myself racking and stacking my favorites of the year. Without fail, when I believe I’ve narrowed down my “best of” list to some manageable, and shareable, collection, inevitably a curveball or five dismantles my best intentions for a neat, tidy, and early yearly wrap up. 2021 is no exception and not only are there some late in the year must-hears in this month’s round up, there are also a few things to begin to put on the books for 2022. I’m hoping it is the year we reach some kind of herd immunity and can return to the sweaty, packed clubs, concerts and dancefloors I’ve been missing.
LA-based post-punk band Agender make schizo, synthy, paranoid, post-punk with a dash of dysmorphic desire. They recently announced the release of their sophomore album, No Nostalgia, which is due out February 24, 2022, and arrives seven years after releasing their first record, Fixations. David Scott Stone (LCD Soundsystem, Unwound) produced, Sean Cook (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen) mixed, and Bob Weston (Shellac) mastered the record. The three engineers combined with Romy Hoffman’s gritty lyrics set the stage for an intricate storyline of existentialism. Left coasters can catch an upcoming live show at Zebulon in Los Angeles, California, on December 1.
Salem, Massachusetts, best known for its witchy past, has an eerie energy that might ward some away. Salem native Anne Bennett absorbed this dark mystery and found comfort in the daunting emotions, which she has channeled into the melancholic music she makes today. Here new single “Hell Couldn’t Keep Me” is an infectious rocker than blends western gothic undertones. Fans of PJ Harvey and Tori Amos will find much to love here.
Confines, the solo project of David Castillo, co-owner and booker of Saint Vitus Bar, creates hard, seductive industrial-techno built on irresistible rhythms and heavy ambience. Fans of the militant EBM of Nitzer Ebb, the moody synth-pop of Depeche Mode, the darkest techno of Vatican Shadow, and Colombian cumbia music are sure to obsess over his forthcoming Work Up the Blood EP for Synthicide, which hits the streets December 3.
GOST has announced its Rites of Love and Reverence U.S. Tour with support from True Body starting December 1 in Fort Worth and wrapping on December 17 in Denver. GOST will be bringing his post-synthwave sound to the stage in support of his latest critically acclaimed release by the same name, which came out this past August. Rites of Love and Reverence (Century Media) is both an album of beautifully crafted songs and a fascinating and intuitively gothic journey, rich with thoughts of supernatural wickedness and real world retribution.
Fresh off their largely sold-out, first-ever headlining tour of the U.S., and the release of their highly-praised sophomore album, A Way Forward (PIAS), Brooklyn trio Nation of Language have announced a spring 2022 tour of North America. The tour kicks off March 2 in Baltimore and includes Webster Hall in New York City, plus two nights at the Lodge Room in Los Angeles. The band will also head out on their first-ever EU and UK dates in January, with UK dates already sold out.
Nashville-based band Palm Ghosts have shared “Young Empire” the final pre-release single off their anticipated new full-length album, The Lost Frequency, out November 19.On the song Palm Ghosts’ Joseph Lekkas says,”‘Young Empire’ looks at America as an over confident kid plagued by passion and lack of self control. A nation that imagines itself wise and righteous by its history and position but is more akin to a child with a gun.” The Lost Frequency follows up the band’s acclaimed album Lifeboat Candidate, which was released earlier this year. Lifeboat Candidate is a giant ear worm on unrest, isolation, and frustration. The quartet weaves early cinematic dream pop and new wave with brooding post punk embracing their 80’s idols, like New Order, The Cure, David Bowie, and Peter Gabriel.
Thirty Something Records has launched pre-orders for three Red Animal War reissues, including two (2001’s ‘Breaking In An Angel’ and 2004’s ‘Polizida’) that have never before been released on vinyl, until now. The Texas post punk outfit formed in 1998, releasing four full lengths, two EPs and a slew of 7-inches and compilation appearances. With a name taken from Stephen Crane’s ‘The Red Badge of Courage’, the band’s catalog features albums recorded with the likes of J. Robbins, Ed Rose and Darrell LaCour.
Los Angeles-based RIKI recently released the noir video for her recent single “Florence and Selena,” the latest from the West Coast New Romantic icon’s upcoming album Gold, due November 26 from Dais. Gold is RIKI’s second offering of pitch-perfect synth-pop, aptly titled for the precious substance it is. Inspired by notions of symbolic power, letting go, and transmutable realms of the heart, Gold further refines her rare gift for making swooning melancholia as anthemic as it atmospheric as it transcends her pantheon of ’80s influences: from Saâda Bonaire and Strawberry Switchblade to Bryan Ferry, Bananarama and beyond. Look for Riki on tour with Choir Boy in 2022, as well as festival appearances.
Tears For Fears, have announced the first leg of The Tipping Point World Tour in 2022, with Garbage as support. Kicking off in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 20, the tour will see the band performing in over twenty cities across North America before capping off with their last show in Wantagh, New York on June 25. The run will mark Tears For Fears first U.S. tour since 2017. As previously reported, The Tipping Point Arrives February 25, 2022, via Concord Records.