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.
Maybe it’s that my trip to Cruel World Festival is just a month away, or maybe it’s just happenstance, but it seems like the post-punk gods are smiling on me. Just a week ago, I tuned in for The Hardy Boys’ second season on Hulu only to be greeted by a soundtrack that includes Echo and the Bunnymen, The Chameleons, Tones on Tail and the like. If this is popular culture in 2022, I’m here for it! Speaking of things I’m here for, I present another short collection of recent, and newsworthy items for your perusal below…
Last month, Bauhaus released a new song, “Drink The Wine,” which was recorded last year with the four members sharing audio files. The track employs the Surrealists’ ‘Exquisite Corpse’ device whereby each artist adds to the piece without seeing what the others have done. The title refers to the very first ‘Cadavre exquis’ drawing rendered by André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy which included words that when strung together made up the sentence, ‘Le cadavre exquis boiara le vin nouveau’ (‘The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine’). Perhaps those lucky enough to catch the band at one of their many worldwide dates, to which they just added several stops between May and September, will have the pleasure of becoming intoxicated by the tune.
As Choir Boy‘s highly successful U.S. tour with RIKI comes to a close the band will begin preparing for a European jaunt later this year with Soft Kill, who are also in the midst of a U.S. tour that seems to be selling out at every turn and in every major market. Last week, both bands announced that their European run will include a brief jaunt with Kentucky-based hardcore head-knockers Knocked Loose. Additionally, Soft Kill has announced that they’ve been added to the lineup for Psycho Las Vegas, which should be a bonafide ripper.
For over a decade, UK-based Cremation Lily has explored countless subsets of underground music and has consistently defined and redefined its boundaries. Continuing to defy genre, the band recently released their haunting, ethereal Dreams Drenched In Static via The Flenser on April 15. The album was penned over countless sleepless nights and documents the liminal moments at the edge of sleep and the distressing thoughts that often accompany late-night R.E.M. disturbances. The lyrics were largely written in the darkest hours of the morning and serve to evoke reflection, depression and meditations on death that seem to haunt these early hours. Through the use of radiant tape hiss and degradation, guitar noise, frenetic vocal melodies and field recording samples, Cremation Lilycreates a distinctive sensory experience. At times ambient and atmospheric, at others meditative and euphoric, it is an effort that floats back and forth from fantasy to reality.
Earlier this month, Forgetmyname, the musical project of singer / songwriter Nicole Morales, has released her debut single, “Complex,” a catchy, yet heart-wrenching synth pop breakup ballad that contrasts shimmering ’80s inspired production inspired by the artists they grew up listening to like Depeche Mode and Tears For Fears with fresh songwriting and perspective, not unlike Chvrches and Purity Ring. Of the song, Morales says, “I was out driving and just being dramatic about a breakup and the lyrics just came. It was 5am and I had been driving and really just having that ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers moment of just envisioning them with someone else and just destroying my head in mental images… Looking back at the song now It’s like a little trophy to me it was a difficult time and I was writing it as I was going through these things and I feel like it’s really hard to do that as a musician because you have to really find the head space to create in dealing with love and relationships and life. I got to say how I felt and it felt great to put those thoughts and insecurities and almost pettiness into paper and a song.”
I Speak Machine, the experimental music act and audio-visual project of musician Tara Busch, recently shared the music video for “Santa Monica,” from the Friday, April 22 release of their brand new full-length album, WAR. Santa Monica” was inspired by a Judy Garland performance of “By Myself” from 1964 that led Busch to write about a character that could’ve been her in another life — a troubled, Garland-esque star that felt deep despair despite how loved she really was, and unable to overcome the pain in the end. Created with filmmaker and collaborator Maf Lewis and co-produced with Dean Honer (Roísín Murphy, Add N To (X)), WAR is a collection of Busch’s most visceral, confrontational and honest music yet. Taking four years to complete, WAR allowed Busch to push herself into new, unfamiliar territories in her synth-based songwriting, while also returning to the immediate, aggressive spirit of her past life in rock. I Speak Machine supports electronic music icon Gary Numan across North America in September.
Interpol‘s seventh release, The Other Side of Make-Believe, is set for release on July 15 on Matador Records. The album breaks fresh ground for the group: parallel to exploring the sinister undercurrents of contemporary life, Interpol’s new songs are imbued with pastoral longing and newfound grace. A bolted-on future fan favorite, first single “Toni” arrived recently as the first installment of a two-part dance film directed by Van Alpert (Post Malone, Machine Gun Kelly), with the second chapter to follow soon. Interpol play Kings Theatre in Brooklyn for two nights on May 14 and 15 and some of their biggest worldwide shows to date throughout the year, including the Rose Bowl Stadium in Los Angeles and City Palacio De Los Deportes arena in Mexico City. Catch the band on tour in the U.S. between April and September.
Philadelphia’s Night Sins, the long-running project helmed by Kyle Kimball who is also the drummer of Nothing, recently returned with the dark and sinister video for “Kill Like I Do”, the second single from the darkwave act’s forthcoming fifth studio album Violet Age, out June 10 via Born Losers Records. “The project sees Kimball exploring grimy post-punk that recalls That Total Age-era Nitzer Ebb and Depeche Mode.
Having closed 2021 with a critically acclaimed sold-out UK tour, Soft Cell recently shared new single “Purple Zone,” a new collaboration with Pet Shop Boys. The song will be included on their much anticipated fifth studio album Happiness Not Included which is now scheduled to be released on May 6. “Purple Zone” is a dream duet for synth-pop connoisseurs as Marc Almond’s ultra-expressive delivery intertwines with Neil Tennant’s wistful yearning, encapsulating the existential questions about the passing of time that are posed throughout the course of the album. Raising its tempo, Pet Shop Boys also added a hi-NRG sheen that elevates the track’s moody melancholy, Chris Lowe’s trademark high-drama synths producing a theatrical intensity.