Artists Donating Proceeds To People Hurting In Ukraine

The world is a bit scary right now. A lot of giant dark clouds hang over us. What is happening to the people of Ukraine is first and foremost in many minds. Art/Music has always been a means of expression for the suffering of the world. As well as a way to give hope. So as reports started coming in several bands in the darkscene released singles with proceeds going to support humanitarian efforts. I will share some of those now

Lifeline InternationalCome Together – So I will age myself here, but back in 1985 the famine happening through out Africa gained public attention when pretty much every popular star in music came together to preform a single called “We Are The World”. When I heard this Beatles cover electrified and amplified by Christian Petke (COP International) and Legendary producer John Fryer my heart stood on it’s edge in that same way as in 1985. This track features : members of Faith No More, Stabbing Westward, Rammstein, The Hardkiss (Ukraine), Revolting Cocks, Filter, Pigface, Agnostic Front, Basement Jaxx, Gravity Kills, The Cassandra Complex, Mesh, blackcarburning, The Joy Thieves, Deathline International, Vaselyne, and Black Needle Noise. I know that might not feel like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and Kenny Rogers to the rest of the world. To Goth/Industrial fans, it’s pretty close. Massive fuzzy funk riffs, earth shaking percussion explosions, vocals that deliver distinctive sounds and seamless overlap. The opening track of Abbey Road which was supposedly written for Timothy Leary’s attempt to become Governor of California has always struck an emotional chord of counter culture rising up for change. The addition of Queen’s We Will Rock You at the end is a fitting signature to the journey. There is a VERY good reason this has remained the number one seller on Bandcamp in any genre.

https://copinternational.bandcamp.com/album/come-together?fbclid=IwAR1TeoC2Su1dgJD9JeEao_G0CMMXHs6XzEcCxrIdD09j_G4834CbKdJBUtc

A Cloud of RavensThe Call Up – Brooklyn NY goth rockers ACOR follow up their stand out album Another Kind Of Midnight with this shadow disco flavored cover of legendary punk act The Clash. Mathew’s vocals are a crooning whisper in contrast to the original, yet never lack for intensity. A cutting electronic veil of synths and foot stomping percussion. They are donating all proceeds to International Rescue Committee. This transitioned from a 4/4 vamp banger into a elastic and textured dance floor electricity. I think Strummer would have appreciated.

https://acloudofravens.bandcamp.com/track/the-call-up

Ashes FallenStand Your Ground (for Ukraine) – This single from California goth rockers Ashes Fallen was featured on their album “A Fleeting Melody Out Of A Fading Dream“. This version with all proceeds to Direct Relief for their humanitarian mission in Ukraine. It features a remix by The Axiom Divide. The original is such a mist rising from concrete dark edge call to arms banger. The remix pulls back the teeth to reveal James emotional vocal performance and subtle colliding synth streams. It adds a reflection of sorrow to the aggression of the original.

Ashes Fallen is James Perry, Michelle Perry, and Jason Shaw.
The Axiom Divide is Jay Tye, Brent Heinze, and Misti Laubscher.

https://ashesfallenmusic.bandcamp.com/album/stand-your-ground-for-ukraine

Warm GadgetLost Weekend – So this is an enormous value compilation for $12 featuring 99 tracks. All proceeds go to Vostok SOS and the Ukrainian Red Cross. An ambitious undertaking in it’s scope and delivery. With contributions from more than 27 countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA and others. There is too much here to go through every individual band. I will focus on this one track from Oregon based hammering hard rock synergy Warm Gadget. I always get chunky Helmet slither math vibes from them. I love the stretch and build happening here. You would be seriously hard pressed to get a better musical value to support the cause.

Tim Vester :: Vocals, Lyrics & Effects

Colten Williams :: Programming, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Samples, Production, Engineer & Additional Vocals

Austin Williams :: Additional Vocals & Guitar

Billy Mickelson :: Additional Guitar

https://componentrecordings.bandcamp.com/track/lost-weekend

Thieve6Inside Out – Ok, this is shameless self promotion. However it is also a single with all proceeds going to Razom, a humanitarian relief charity chosen by Myah who had just lived in the Ukraine as part of Peace Corp. Those that follow Sounds and Shadows have probably heard of my fanboying for 90s Alt rocker Eve 6 and his twitter page. It has gotten to be a bit of a running bit in the Facebook group. So when Dan Milligan of Joy Thieves/The Burying Kind fame about doing a cover, Collin and I (Amaranth) went to work. We had no idea when we started what Dan would eventually bring together. I’m proud of the result, and proud to raise money for the cause it goes to. We also got to bring in the talented Whitney Flaherty to produce the inspired cover art. I’m still waiting for Max to ask me :If I like the Heart In A Blender Song“.

Ken Magerman: lead and backing vocals, clips and phrases
Collin Schipper: guitars, backing vocals, wicker cabinet
James Scott: bass guitar, origami
Myah VanTil: backing vocals, faith in nothing
Damien Faust: guitar, finalistic rendezvous
Dan Milligan: drums, guitar, synths, ginger ale

https://thieve6.bandcamp.com/track/inside-out

Now for those of you that prefer a more direct support. I will call out some bands in our scene in the Ukraine that are suffering and could use your support.

Icy MenLow Light – Based in Kyiv/Kiev our friends on Cold Transmission Music Lytvyn and Den Stavitskiy who we have reviewed previously do a frozen darkness coldwave that resonates in the heart. The driving bass in abandoned subways, pounding movement. Frosty breath vocals delivered with cutting logic. I fell in love with this record in 2020 and hold a good thought for the next release.

https://icymen.bandcamp.com/album/low-light

BlazerJacketGet Out (feat. Dirty Bird 13) – Another artists from Kyiv Denis Cherryman has a new retrowave shimmering single of oil on water in the morning sun. Creating an image of serenity before the violent guitar crunch and broken glass vocals shatter the surface of the water. Without warning another change from Psalm 69 Ministry fury to hypnotic retro melody hook. I love the bold transitions, I love the message of warning. Have a thought for Denis, I look forward to his next release.

https://blazerjacket.bandcamp.com/album/get-out-feat-dirty-bird-13

Sexual PuritySuffer | Hope – I love the erratic percussion builds from Dnipro based Coldwave artists Sexual Purity. Anastasia has a captivating and emotionally tortured voice. It drips with animal hunger and menace. The style is very minimalist like a swirling nightmare you can’t hold in your mind. I look forward to more exploration of diverse styles in the future offerings. I was haunted and intrigued. Track 3 “In The Ocean” was a standout for me in the way the vocals took a more jagged and dangerous edge.

Music by Oleksii Donets
Vocal and Lyrics by Anastasia Romanova

https://sexualpurity.bandcamp.com/album/suffer-hope

When the world is suffering it is often artists who put the emotions into a physical form. Here we are just scratching the surface of amazing bands that offered up their art to support the people effected by this horrible conflict. Hopefully one of these offerings inspired you to do something for those suffering. Please if you know of another artists doing a song with the proceeds going to humanitarian relief leave a link and comment below

Cold Transmission Spotlight Volume 2

In the past 4 years German based label Cold Transmission has been responsible for amassing and growing some of the greatest talent in the modern darkscene. Andreas and Suzy Herrmann have created a music label experience that feels like family. With a hawk’s eye for talent and a focus on growing creative expression. They have built up an amazing roster of talent around the world. Here in their second compilation to celebrate their releases you can experience some of the best and brightest for one low price. Mastered by the talented Pete Burns of Kill Shelter and featuring artwork of Yvonne Kiel this CD is a who’s who of the modern darkscene. In addition to the amazing music compiled, a portion of the proceeds is donated for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine. I wish I could review every track on this stellar offering, but I will shine a light on a few highlights.

https://coldtransmissionmusic.bandcamp.com/album/spotlight-vol-2-a-cold-transmission-label-compilation

1.IAMTHESHADOW – On Winter Leaves Embrace 04:34
2.The Secret French Postcards – The Line 03:20
3.Night Nail – Co-Morbid 03:30
4.Silent Runners – My Truth 02:44
5.Cerulean Veins – Dance In The Darkness 03:56
6.Iamnoone – Together Alone* 05:25
7.Camlann – I’m Nobody 03:06
8.The Ending Nights – A Landscape To Die 03:29
9.Palais Ideal – Age of Intransigence 04:55
10.White Mansion – Cancel The Sky 04:02
11.Reconverb – Vanishing Paintings 03:18
12.The Cold Field – Burnt Hill 03:26
13.Grey Gallows – Chains* 04:39
14.MARY – Devouring Me 03:29
15.DILK – Bad Habits 04:05
16.The Gathering – Empires 03:21
17.Cruel Reflections – Heaven or Hell 03:52
18.SHANX FM – Yesterday 04:13
19.Mark E Moon – Hearts Keep Bleeding (Demo)* 04:44
20.S Y Z Y G Y X – Cold Touch 03:43
21.ULTRA SUNN – Young Foxes 03:56
22.DEAD LIGHTS – Plastic Girl 04:04
23.CIRQUE D’ESS – Hole-Frog (Radio Edit) 04:20
24.Bedless Bones – Where Is My Voice (Tamhiis Remix)** 06:23
25.A Sinister Light – Telephone 04:06
26.NOROMAKINA – Dark 03:06
27.LETTEN 94 – Empty Landscapes 05:00
28.Incirrina – Shrapnel Words 04:20
29.La Mécanique – MDMA 03:48
30.Dead Astronauts – She Haunts Me 03:43
31.Cult Of Alia – The Only Angel 04:30
32.Death Loves Veronica – Burn 04:53
33.HALLOWS – All That Is True Dies 03:59
34.Sundata – Alright 03:34
35.Ohne Nomen – Vampire* 04:20
36.New Haunts – Echo 03:57
37.Control Room – Are We All Alone 03:54
38.Carlo Onda – Fürchte Dich** 03:35

IAMTHESHADOWOn Winter Leaves Embrace – Pedro Code has a once in a lifetime voice. The Portuguese darkwave artist is the flagship of Cold Transmission. An emotive passion sailing a turbulent sea of beauty and melancholy that moves the heart of everyone who hears it.

https://iamtheshadow.bandcamp.com/track/on-winter-leaves-embrace

The Secret French Postcards – “The Line” – Swedish darkwave poetry forward band with elegance and subtitle style. I love the whispered intensity and Johnny Marr style lilting darkness on guitar.

https://thesecretfrenchpostcards.bandcamp.com/track/the-line

NIGHT NAILCo​-​Morbid – Our dear friends in Berlin the abstract shadow rock of Night Nail. I love the complex and unique beauty with a focus on emotional impact over hook. Dynamic and courageous changes with interesting instrumentation. Night Nail treads fresh ground like protogoths Bauhaus while creating a style solely their own.

https://music.nightnail.com/track/co-morbid

CamlannI’m Nobody – The ridiculously talented young folk from Indonesia. How I wish that I sounded this way when I was their age. It is sleek, passionate, and overflows with a unique darkness. This band has such a bright future set out before them.

https://camlannmusic.bandcamp.com/track/im-nobody

The Ending NightsA Landscape To Die – Another project of Pedro Code. This a apocalypse death disco offering to sum up the last few years. Precision , Execution, Beauty, Passion, swirling in a violet fog. A transcendent art piece to speak to turbulent times.

https://theendingnights.bandcamp.com/track/a-landscape-to-die-3

PALAIS IDEAL – Age Of Intransigence – Netherlands post prog rockers John Edwards and Richard van Kruysdijk continue to create some of the most dynamic and intelligent science fiction thought rock in the scene. This is music that displays technique and ability while challenging you to higher thought.

https://palaisideal.bandcamp.com/track/age-of-intransigence

MARYDevouring Me – I genuinely feel this 2020 release from Toronto is one of the most underrated records in recent time. Driving and intense basslines that cast rippling waves is a crystal pool. I love the cadence and timber of the vocals. This feels like 4 clashing brilliant minds carried out by one train of thought. I really hope we get another album from Mary soon.

https://maryofficial.bandcamp.com/track/devouring-me

Mark E MoonHearts Keep Bleeding – From the Isle of Man this track is a demo version of the crooning old school goth style of Mark Sayle. Their album Old Blood in 2021 was a true opus for one of the strongest examples of trad goth in the modern age.

https://markemoon1.bandcamp.com/album/old-blood

DEAD LIGHTSPlastic Girl – London based sinister synths that recently had a top single on the S & S darkscene charts. It is dance and deadly with captivating vocals that lift your feet off the ground. The type of glamourous dance floor beats that cannot be ignored.

https://deadlightsband.bandcamp.com/track/plastic-girl

Dead AstronautsShe Haunts Me – Seattle dark synth stars continue to sound years ahead of their time. 2021 album Silhouettes is a memorizing conversation of internal dialog and duet relationship that sends the listener on a journey. I highly recommend that journey.

https://deadastronauts.bandcamp.com/track/she-haunts-me

Death Loves VeronicaBurn – The Texas demon lounge smoky vocal tendrils paint sinister pictures with visceral imagery and stained glass synth walls. The German label supports many American talents and Veronica continues to grow and impress.

https://deathlovesveronica.bandcamp.com/track/burn

I could have easily talked about several more bands here I love. The point is this compilation and this label are offering a gate way into some of the best darkscene music the world has to offer. 38 tracks for 15 dollars is an absolute steal.

Sounds and Shadows February 2022 Darkscene Singles Chart

It is once again time to release the Sounds and Shadows Darkscene singles chart. Ok admittedly I am behind as always and this is the chart from Feb. As always these are singles released in Feb voted on by our members of Bands, Djs, fans, and reviewers. Representing the fan picks for the month in all genres of the darkscene. (goth/Industrial/Synthwave/Darkwave/EBM/EDM/ect) This month featured a few sad stories, because two bands that were chosen are no more 🙁 . I love what this chart has come to represent. Songs chosen by the people who love and support this scene regardless of label, influence, or history.

  1. Dead Cool Game of Trust
  2. Massive EgoFake Star
  3. Sapphiria Vee Feat: Roger EbnerNot Meant For Me
  4. Dead LightsDoom Doom Trash
  5. The Palest Grey – Suicide
  6. Lorelei DreamingOf Stars (Daddybear Remix)
  7. Secret ShameHide
  8. Sidewalks and Skeletons Feat: Goo MondayShadows
  9. Moris Blak xx Moaan Exis Feat:GrabyourfaceState Rejects
  10. Junksista Fuck Your Pretty Face

DEAD COOLGame of Trust – Wilmington, North Carolina stellar splashing synthwave goodness full of mystery and mayhem. Ringing front striking vocals and cascade keys. The husband and wife John and Angela Yeagher create a sinister story that is always driving forward. Awesome cover art to complete the image by Morgan Elizabeth.

https://deadcool.bandcamp.com/track/game-of-trust

Massive EgoFake Star – This was a happy/sad story. The London based dark synth act released this single and EP which is a sizzling assault of tongue and cheek satire and blood pumping dance chaos. Sadly the band has decided to call it quits to focus on health and personal concerns. We are left with this buzzing shadow storm electric single.

https://massiveegoofficial.bandcamp.com/

Sapphira Vee Feat : Roger Ebner – I love this bold crackling new energy from Sapphira Vee. As I state often on this page the addition of saxophone adds depth and sex appeal to everything. Roger Ebner (Pigface) give a muted perfect accent to these whispy tendrils of emotion and poetically delivered vocals.

https://sapphiravee.bandcamp.com/track/the-gift-was-not-meant-for-me-ft-roger-ebner

DEAD LIGHTSDoom Doom Trash – UK Batwing EDM kicked out this absolutely banger from their upcoming March 2022 EP. It’s tight lightsaber fencing lunge and parry to make your dancefloor burn with desire. This album can’t come soon enough. Rain down ask and destruction on the writhing forms in leather and lace.

https://deadlightsband.bandcamp.com/

The Palest GreySuicide – Florida based deathrock newcomers comprised of members of Obscura Undead. A lurking and spine tingling promise which sadly will not go forward. The band completed this EP and then went their separate ways to pursue other projects. We are left with this driven and frantic single of old school bat cave croon and danger. We can only hope that the individual member continue on in future projects.

https://thepalestgrey.bandcamp.com/track/suicide

 Lorelei Dreaming – Of Stars – daddybear Remix – Chicago EDM Fantasy weaving Queen released this remix album with several wonderful re imaginings from top talent in the scene. This one a burning firework display by Matt Fanale (Daddybear). I love this bracing breathy barrage of bardic inspiration pushed from the battlefield onto the dancefloor by one of the masters of the genre.

https://loreleidreaming.bandcamp.com/track/of-stars-daddybear-remix

Secret ShameHide – Asheville, North Carolina driving dark alt band is just disturbingly good and continues to leave me floored with every single release. Rifle crack drums, polycolor slush pedal guitars, and ringing chat vocals with inspire and cast emotional magic. Hit after hit for this band.

https://secretshame.bandcamp.com/track/hide

Sidewalks and SkeletonsSHADOW [ᴡɪᴛʜ ɢᴏᴏ ᴍᴜɴᴅᴀʏ] – I recently had the pleasure of interviewing this UK band as well as upping my witchhaus education. This single is a pulsing shot of pure adrenochrome tempered with the gorgeous chime wave vocals of Australia’s Goo Monday. I started with this single and fell deep in love with this record.

https://sidewalksandskeletons.bandcamp.com/track/shadow

MORIS BLAK, Moaan Exis, grabyourfaceState Rejects – Ok, there is so much to unpack here from Boston EBM darling Moris Blak’s new single. For starters it absolutely slaps. It features the most selected singer in the history of this poll Marie Dragontown of Grabyourface. It also features fellow French explosive rage dance band Moaan Exis. Somehow these immense artistic talents come together in creative cause to spew napalm chaos glory into your eardrums. I am staggered, I am spent, holy shit.

https://morisblak.bandcamp.com/album/moris-blak-x-moaan-exis-state-rejects-moments-of-dissent

JUNKSISTAFuck Your Pretty Face – German electronic whisper punk from Diana Noir released on COP International is a raindrop blue hue builder full of menace and danger. Throwing a burning brand at the concept of the value of beauty standards. I love the boxer weave drum beat and snarling challenge.

https://junksista.bandcamp.com/album/fuck-your-pretty-face

Remember to cast your votes for March in the Sounds and Shadows group for the singles that are inspiring you. A musical revolution is happening.

Fractals To Infinity by Giant Monsters on the Horizon (feat. Arden and the Wolves) – Part 2/2

GMOTH’s collab with Arden & the Wolves yielded admirable results. So much so, I felt compelled to contact Arden Leigh and get her side of the story…

– Who are your influences and what did you take away from those artists?

That’s a terrific question. I have ADHD that’s been exacerbated by the way our culture fosters a brief attention span, so lately I find myself constantly seeking and finding new sources of inspiration. I finally embraced that as a singer I feel called to express myself in a large number of genres, that if I’m not challenging myself in some way I’m bored, and that it’s okay for me to feel like whatever I want to make in the moment is the opposite of the last thing I just made.

That said, I’d say my traditional influences are Paramore, Panic at the Disco, The Pretty Reckless, Pat Benatar, Blue October, Imogen Heap, Poe, WALK THE MOON, and 30 Seconds to Mars.

And I’d say my newer influences are HANA, AURORA, The Midnight, Starcadian, Poppy, Ghostemane, Aesthetic Perfection, MisterWives, Auri, and Thomas Bergersen. 

For this track in particular, I mostly listened to the singer Veela for inspiration. I wasn’t accustomed to writing to the style of track Vinnie sent me, but I welcomed the challenge and sought to find a way that I could use a repetitive melody that would merge with, and not compete with, the intensity of the track. I found that many of Veela’s melodies were written in that style, and that felt like permission to try it myself.

– Do you draw inspiration from sources outside of music, per se?

All the time. I don’t ever want to write a lyric that’s only inspired by something someone else said, you know? For me, the impetus of a song, whether it’s one that I self-generate or one I’m asked to write/sing on, is that I have to feel that what I’m saying is important. When I’m asked to do a guest vocal like on this track, I have to find something that is important enough for me to write about. If the subject and lyric doesn’t feel important to me, the song will feel flat and unfinished until I sit with it and figure out what it’s trying to say.

I’d say my main job as a vocalist/songwriter is to tune into the narrative and build out its world. That’s not always inherent to the music itself but I’m not sure it can really be separated. Also, I’m a synaesthetic, so I tend to have colorful sensory associations as it is. 

– Please describe a typical day in the studio. What is the chemistry like?

Is it cheeky of me if I say it depends whose studio it is? In seriousness, I don’t have a home studio so I work with an engineer for my vocals, and nine times out of ten it’s Pete Mills of the band The Sweet Kill. We have amazing creative chemistry in the studio. Even more than chemistry, we have comfort, and for me, the safety of a regulated nervous system, knowing you’re safe to share ideas without judgment or criticism, is the most important foundation for creativity. You have to be able to say your weird ideas and have someone make the effort to grok them and help you bring them to life. Pete really understands me and supports my vision, and he will always share his feelings and ideas but also always supports me having final creative say since it’s my name on the work. It’s a wonderful creative relationship full of lots of mutual respect and fun. 

Because Vinnie and I live far apart, we actually haven’t met in person yet and haven’t been in the studio together. But Vinnie makes long distance collaboration easy. He’s so supportive of my ideas and for this track we both allowed each other complete creative freedom – Vinnie let me track pretty much whatever vocals I wanted, and then I shipped them to him and let him do whatever he wanted with them. Honestly it’s really great when you have two artists who trust the quality of each other’s work enough that you’re both like, you know what, whatever we come up with will be great.

– What’s next for you? How are you forming/adapting your plans in the age of COVID?

To be completely honest, it really kinda felt like my musical career “began” with the release of my EP Who Can You Trust in 2018. Before that, I released songs but I was treating my band like a vanity project because of past traumas and worthiness issues. WCYT definitely changed that for me. 

But by the time I was able to find aligned producers and get back in the studio to work on the next album, which will be my first full-length, it was already mid-2020. So to be honest, I haven’t so much had to do much adapting as learning on the fly this whole time. If anything it was an advantage for me when the pandemic hit, because all of a sudden there were all these musicians who couldn’t tour and were looking for production work to keep busy in the meantime, and I needed producers. 

I will also add that even besides Covid, I think it’s safe to say that music right now is an ever-shifting landscape with no reliable model, and that everyone is being invited into more adaptability. The old ways are dying and a new sustainable way hasn’t been established yet, which I think is plain to see from how much arguing there is over the way things are currently happening. It’s intimidating but it’s also exciting. I regret to admit that I will probably have to learn about blockchain if I want to start being a part of the solution, which I do. But I anticipate this to be a 5-10 year scope, and I still have a lot of learning to do in that regard. It’s a lot of data to eat and process. 

But if I could solve my mental health issues in the scope of two years, especially when that felt impossible throughout the rest of my life, and if I could create The Re-Patterning Project out of that journey and help dozens of others to do the same, then I think I can be helpful in solving this too. And at that point, who am I not to at least try, right?

– What is your take on the current state of the dark music “scene”?

Is there a scene? I have really been trying to overcome feelings of being an outsider, with historically mixed results that I’m happy to report are steadily getting better. But I’m not sure I feel like I’m part of a scene. Maybe that’s a limiting belief on my part. I will say I really appreciate the way Ken is a positive force in creating community. In fact I found Vinnie through the Sounds and Shadows group, so in that way I owe this very song to him and to everyone involved! 

But I think the same lowered barriers to entry that make music so accessible these days has also meant that it is very spread out and difficult to feel like there’s any one homogenous scene, and instead that there’s pockets of communities here and there. My modus operandi is simply to be the best version of myself that I can be and operate in integrity so that I can align with people who do the same, gravitate toward and nourish the people in my immediate circles who feel like the best fit, where everything feels easy and fun and inspiring, and then keep repeating that. Into infinity, so to speak.

When you can do that, and when you start connecting with the artists around you and forming mutually positive creative friendships with them, maybe it doesn’t matter whether there’s a scene or whether you belong to it.

https://giantmonstersonthehorizon.bandcamp.com/track/fractals-to-infinity-feat-arden-and-the-wolves

https://ardenandthewolves.bandcamp.com

Nothing Tastes Better Than Buying a New Release On Bandcamp Day Feels.

As the first Friday of February descends upon us Bandcamp (The best way to support new artists) has brought back Bandcamp Friday where every cent spent goes to the artists making the music. Here in Michigan we are buried in fluffy crystal snow and have no where to go. So make a cup of hot coco, grab a warm blanket, and tuck into some of the great releases which have found their way into my collection.

Sapphira VeeAerial HumanSapphiria Vee has sprouted wings and taken to stormy skies with the newest release “Ariel Human“. A bracing new pace and sinister promise. Featuring a rouges gallery of impressive collaboration from Jean Marc- Lederman, Roger Ebner, then Mixed and mastered by sonic wizard Jules Seifert. Send your mind a flight. Sapphira’s ability to draw talent towards her with both her powerful voice and magnetic personality gives her access to a wide brigade of masterwork tools. As a producer she knows just when and where to implement each sound like a conductor in a symphony. Available 2/4/22 on Distortion Records.

https://sapphiravee.bandcamp.com/album/aerial-human

The Palest GreyAlways Haunted – Long have I yearned for this release of wine stained lips and flapping leather wing goodness from Malek, Ripley, and dear friend Azy of (Obscura Undead). Lofi open maw bounding horror charging down a darkened hallway by furious clomping drums and tendril rope guitars. This is wonderful music created by people who LOVE batcave goth. You can really hear that homage in the intensity and intent. The EP also includes a Virgin in Veil cover which is a powerful deep cut. I love how the vocals have this hazy shadow monster undefinable quality that fluctuates in range and ferocity. Out on 2/4/22

https://thepalestgrey.bandcamp.com/releases

Katy Needs A LifeWith Friends Like Bees – This is another special release. I feel like I watched it grow up. Born here right in Kalamazoo MI, in Collin Schipper‘s (Amaranth) studio, done by Katy May (Sounds and Shadows). This record is everything I love about ultra sad dreamgaze pop, with none of the pretention I often associate with the genre. Every song is a flailing arms, heart flinging, explosion of narrative intensity. The music of Reggie, David, and Jake is a furious and frantic cohesion of chaos and pastel dreams. Katy has a voice full of purity and unapologetic raw truth that blasts through a sea of cold ultra produced crystal. This is such wonderous walking around with your own thoughts music.

Stand Out Track: I’m Going Down – This album is such a complete journey, I love each story and song. That said this track is constantly in my playlist when I need a moment. It’s a heavy builder that taps the emotion of great hits like Black Parade by MCR. It’s a nuclear unhinged crest of beauty and pain flung forth with reckless abandon. The perfect closer to the album.

This record is the first full length with the entire band and spells a glorious future for Katy and company. On top of that it is expertly mastered by none other than Jason Corbett (Jackknife Sound Studios) (Actors). I think sometimes those of us that do musical support of others get lost when it comes to our own projects. This is an unforgettable must have record.

https://katyneedsalife.bandcamp.com/album/with-friends-like-bees-2

Black Rose BurningThe Wheel – It’s strange, I feel like I have already reviewed this record, because I listen to it all the time. George Grant is a legendary part of the New York darkscene who has produced and written magnificent music that infuses heady concepts of fantasy and science fiction into beautiful towers of narrative beauty. With that history laid out, this album is the true opus of his career. A distinctive and complex expression of the modern post punk/darkwave scene. George has one of those voices of shooting star power which rings in the memory every time you hear it. I have said before it feels like Peter Gabriel doing goth music about Issac Asimov. This album is a must have in your collection. Also Mastered by Jason Corbett (Maybe you should ask him about mastering your band)

Stand Out Track: A Little Too Little – Grinding and filthy bass driving contrasts Georges lifting windswept beautiful vocals. I’m genuinely amazed this wasn’t a hit from the 80’s I had just forgotten about. A pleading love song tempered with regret. This song stabs me right through the heart every time.

https://blackroseburning.bandcamp.com/album/the-wheel

What are you going to buy this bandcamp day?