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.
Summer is officially here and what is a self-respecting goth to do to survive all this cursed sunshine? I suggest SPF 90, which I’ve found goes on in about the same consistency as corpse paint. I also suggest following Shadow-Plays for essential Summer ’22 listening. Below is what we’ve unearthed over the last few weeks.
Last week, New York City post-punk six-piece Catcher shared a self-directed music video for “Behind a Bleeding Heart,” the final single off their debut album, The Fat of a Broken Heart, released earlier this year. Via their new visual, the track is translated into a hazy world of raucous live fervor, a perfect example of the greatness this group is capable of. During their first year as a band (2021), Catcher has played countless sold-out shows across the city, in addition to going on their first headlining tour across the U.S. Catcher is heading out on tour with Liily and Model/Actriz, with the first date of tour taking place at the end of the month in Allston, Massachusetts. Tickets for all dates can be purchased here.
Cold Showers released their Strength In Numbers EP on June 10 on Dais. The effort captures Cold Showers’ chemistry at its most effortless and anthemic, distilling a decade of experience into five future classics of romantic Madchester melancholia. Opening with the Screamadelica-esque “How Do You Know This Love?” (which features a guest spot by visionary rapper Lil B), the EP flows from baggy to blue, an alchemical mix of mood-swing synth-pop, night sky post-punk, and Technique-era New Order.
Dead Can Dance have announced new tour dates in North America in March and April, 2023. The tour sees Brendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard and full backing band return to North America for the first time in a decade, last playing on the continent at Coachella Festival in April, 2013. The band will be playing songs across their spectacular career spanning over three decades – including much loved classic works from the likes of their The Serpent’s Egg, Aionand Into The Labyrinth albums as well as their most recent studio album, Dionysus (PIAS). Dead Can Dance are currently mid-way through the first leg of their two-legged Europa – 2022 tours, their first live shows since 2019.
Haunted Horses, an industrial-punk duo hailing from Seattle, Washington, just released their video for “Cold Medicine,” a single from their forthcoming LP, The Worst Has Finally Happened, for Three One G Records. Their sound is thunderous and chaotic, using wall of noise techniques through an onslaught of keys, guitars and drums. Myke Pelly’s off-kilter drumming and Colin Dawson’s architectural noise structures create jittery post-punk that is both upbeat and gloomy. Most recently, the band enlisted Seattle-based bassist Brian McClelland of Filth is Eternal and He Whose Ox is Gored, creating an added level of heavy rhythmic noise that not only contributes an exciting dynamic layer to the album sonically, but to their already-captivating live performance as well. The Worst Has Finally Happened, will be released on limited vinyl on July 29.
SRSQ has released another single, “Used To Love,” from her forthcoming album for Dais, which sees release August 19. SRSQ’s Kennedy Ashlyn masterfully synthesizes her private struggles and sorrows into stirring, redemptive anthems. Her multi-octave range and moodswing songcraft consists of tumult and triumph, darkest night breaking into brightest dawn, proving her a musician of elemental force. Her new single “Used To Love” is “about trying to rekindle a dying flame, about mourning a thing you have not yet lost, but can feel slipping away. It’s simultaneously very personal, yet universally relevant as we all seek to hold on to our most precious people and moments.” On Ashlyn’s second album, Ever Crashing, melodies pirouette and crescendo in dazzling, elevated acrobatics, and landsomewhere between Kate Bush and The Sundays. Finessed to perfection by producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Slowdive, Zola Jesus), SRSQ’s is a dream-pop of questing catharsis, vulnerable, but orchestral, and dense with hooks and heartbreak.
Portland’s Soft Kill have announced another headlining U.S. tour this Fall with Austin, Texas’ Portrayal of Guilt Los Angeles’ Spike Hellis, and El Paso, Texas’ Lesser Care. This announcement follows what has already been a huge year for the band, including a spot supporting X on several west coast tour dates, a headlining run (with Topographies and Alien Boy) that sold out major markets coast to coast, two days at Cruel World Festival, and a UK tour with Choir Boy (including a handful of dates with Knocked Loose), and precedes their performance at Psycho Las Vegas.It is rumored that their forthcoming LP is fully mastered and ready for a November release.
In early May while we were drunk on Cruel World vibes, This Is Oblivion released their self-titled effort via Silent Pendulum Records. Consisting of vocalist/violinist Lulu Black and drummer Michael Kadnar, the group summons a dark, evocative sound, in league with the most dramatic dirges of Chelsea Wolfe or Swans. A classical music major in college, Black’s interest in other genres – industrial, darkwave, doom, and more – led her to start creating her own music:. Kadnar is known to many as the rhythm machine behind bands such as The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Downfall of Gaia, and So Hideous. Recorded and mixed by Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets (Lingua Ignota, The Body); mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering (Depeche Mode, David Lynch), the band delivers a ferocious blend of punishing noise with plenty of spooky, goth-informed theatrics.
Glasgow, Scotland’s Possession Records, a label specializing in darkwave, post-punk and other synth releases by artists from around Europe, are set to release Preparing Singularity, the debut album by Berlin-based Transhuman Rebirth on June 20. Transhuman Rebirth is a Berlin-based EBM act, a one-man side project of renowned German synth-punk artist Ben Bloodygrave. Already instantly recognizable on the European synth/wave scene and touring circuit for his high-octane, aggressive minimal synth, Bloodygrave started this new project over the past few years focusing more on classic, first-wave EBM, molding the nine tracks on Preparing Singularity into a sound that’s that is as classic as it is unique. Simply, it delivers minimal wave and synth-punk with nods to “old idols” such as Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Front 242 and Absolute Body Control. For now, the album will come in digital, cassette and Digipak CD formats, with a forthcoming limited “fan-based” vinyl LP version in the works. You can find out more about the StartNext fundraising project for that here.
Athens, Georgia quartet Vision Video released their debut full-length album, Inked In Red, last year. Hidden within Vision Video’s catchy hooks and danceable beats is a nostalgic yet desperate message exploring the darker undertones of our existence. Since then the group has been working on new material – due out later this year – toured the U.S. last autumn and this spring, including SXSW and Treefort Festival. The band have announced a run of Summer dates, which kick off in Nashville on June 30 and run through July 16. To celebrate the tour announcement, the band also shared a cover of The Cure classic “Pictures Of You.”