Dear Cold and Desolate Land, What Hot New Releases Will Spark My Joy?

This weekend I was suppose to be in Boston for the Dark Spring Festival. Enjoying the warm embrace of meeting new friends and swaying in rhythm to music. Instead here I sit in Michigan at the computer eating curried mash potatoes alone. I do have a tether to this distant world. New music to conjure dreams of adventure from the ether.

Icy Men – Low Light I’ve been taking in snippets of this album leading up to the release today. Another strong offering from Cold Transmission. This Ukrainian band gives me a tie to a world far away. It’s the perfect sound to capture the isolation I am fighting. Everything sounds so open and full of negative space. The songs resonate with grey concrete and oppressive darkness. I am in love with the striking drums and the powerful delivery of the voice. It’s the weight and power of each track that strikes your mind and demands reflection. Dedicated to the victims of medieval inquisition this is not background music. It’s a forceful reflection of the human condition. I couldn’t turn away from how I could not understand the lyrics, but I felt the meaning.

Favorite Tracks : The Captain , Uninhabited Buses, We Shall Be Together

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

Sawtooth – Hostile Design – Massachusetts sinister EDM Sawtooth unleashed this ferocious team up of several guest vocalists each swinging sword cut glitch sounds and boot stomping snare beats. The most challenging aspect of EDM music can be finding range of sound and emotion when releasing an album of 13 tracks. I really enjoyed the different cadence to the poetry spoken lyrics. A real roller coaster of rises and falls.

Favorite Tracks: Devoured, Venomous Whispers, Miss America (Echo Haus remix)

https://djsawtooth.bandcamp.com/album/hostile-design

Iza Grau Vastness Hurts – Italian Post punk full of sharp edges and driving precision from Cleopatra Records. The growl and burning anger just beneath the surface of these vocals really give a fresh feeling among the mellow and blending style of most Darkwave Postpunk. Not that they didn’t find a shade of beauty with tracks like Burn Everything. This was an album I stumbled on but I am really glad I did. It’s ability to twist, turn, and surprise me has left me hungry for more.

Favorite Tracks : Burn Everything , The Grace within Nocturnal Animals, Inviolate.

https://izagrau.bandcamp.com/album/vastness-hurts

FIRES – BitchCorona – Aedra has done it again. It’s a huge swing from her previous album. Complete chaos incineration that really taps into my feelings of frustration of being home bound. It’s just one track, but it’s fun, it’s fierce, and it makes me want to run outside and scream while I spin in circles in my backyard.

https://firesnashville.bandcamp.com/track/bitchcorona

UIU – Acid Joe DavolaSo I am a long time fan of Perth Austrailia’s synth wave wizard Greg Weir. However nothing could prepare me for this bizzaro Kraftwerk style dance jam. An express train to the underground. It’s good to have new music from UIU.

https://uiumusic1.bandcamp.com/album/acid-joe-davola-isomixx

Black Nail Cabaret – No Gold – New EP and Video from my favorite Hungarian electronic band. Emese’s voice is one of those things that brings me joy anytime i hear it. Another track with beautiful pop dance sensibility but such a rich soulful vocal delivery and powerful lyrics. Their videos are such high art as well. They can really do no wrong in my eyes.

https://blacknailcabaret.bandcamp.com/album/no-gold

Antipole – Perspectives II – Karl Morton has returned with the second in the series of his remix albums Perspectives II. For this offering the songs have a vastly different tone. Away from post punk and into a more avant garde texture. Outstanding re imaginings by bands like SYZYGX, Crying Vessel, The Coventry, and European Ghost. I love the feeling of cold remembrance here, the songs have become a spectral haunt of intention that adds such contrast to Antipoles driven and concise style.

https://antipole.bandcamp.com/album/perspectives-ii

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Katy’s ‘End Of Days’ Playlist (pt. 1)

Many of us are being ordered to stay at home, which sucks in a lot of ways. It’s easy to get stir crazy or bored. Luckily, we’re facing the apocalypse scenario we were never told about: the one with the internet is still available.

So, being stuck at home has its silver linings, I suppose. Today, I embarked on a quest to find some killer new music to rock out to during this time we’ve come to know as, “The End Of Days.” I spent hours digging on Bandcamp to find some truly exceptional playlist material. All of this has come out in the last week or so and varies dramatically.

Van Shed by Vanished

https://vanishedd.bandcamp.com/album/van-shed

Favorite Track: Voyager

VanShed by Vanished

This seven-track chillwave album is just what I needed today to make data entry seem like a Nintendo game. If you like happy, chill electronic albums, this is perfect for you. When I listened, it gave me a happy swelling feeling in my chest. It felt like what I used to call “optimism”. I can’t tell you anything about this artist other than they go by Vanished and live somewhere in Charleston, South Carolina. Whoever you are though… keep up the good work! This album came out on March 24, 2020.

. by Sharker Knife

https://sharkerknife.bandcamp.com/album/-

Favorite Track: Islands 

SharkerKnife

This album is the opposite of Van Shed. It is dark, harsh, thrashy, grimy, and industrial to a tee. Though the album is mildly unsettling, it fits very well with my lifestyle right now. When I listened through this the first time, I kept thinking about how it made me feel like I needed to stay in stealth mode as I gathered my essentials before heading to the nearest checkpoint. The album has a way of conveying the unnerving aspects of isolation. The weird knocks and creeks, the strange distorted noises coming from nearby. It’s almost sci-fi, but more on the mad scientist angle. This album was released on March 23, 2020.

The Artless Cuckoo Vol. II by DJ Scientist

https://equinoxrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-artless-cuckoo-vol-ii

Favorite Track: Rega, Rega, Rega

DJScientist

This EP comes out on March 27 and I’m super geeked. DJ Scientist is off Equinox Records, the German label out of Berlin. Right now, you can listen to, “Rega Rega Rega,” and “Road To Tashkent”.  Both the tracks that are available to listen to right now are bangers and I’m stoked to hear more. I think I cling to this so much because the samples are all over the place and vary in how they are distorted and effected while still sounding like chill soulful songs. This album is a fun one to listen to when you’re dying for a chill beat to bob your head to while out for a nature walk.

EX NIHLO by Grant Ulysses

https://grantulysses.bandcamp.com/album/ex-nihilo

Favorite Track: safety first

GrantUlysses

When I’m outside playing while maintaining my social distancing as instructed by the CDC, I need something a little more driving and poppy. I stumbled upon this new release from March 24th and felt my heart melt. This instrumental dream-pop album by Grant Ulysses from Toronto has the ups and downs that make the world seem like it has a retro camera filter on. Maybe it’s the tone of the guitar, the catchy riffs, and hooks, or maybe it’s the variance in the drum beats, but this album is fun and uplifting in a much-needed way.

pour celles et ceux qui nous croient condamné(e)s by BLATTE

https://blatte.bandcamp.com/album/pour-celles-et-ceux-qui-nous-croient-condamn-e-s

Favorite Track: L’Écuell

BLATTE

When I was scrolling through Bandcamp’s sub-genres under ‘electronic’, I found out about ‘witch house’ music. This piqued my curiosity, so I clicked the first band under the sub-genres tag and was happily greeted by this amazing EP. If you need a beautiful soundscape with shoegaze and post-rock vibes, this is for you. I got lost in the tracks of this album getting hit was ambient waves of distorted keys, guitars, and drums and I loved every second. This album was released on March 23, 2020.

Departure by Rayne Reznor

https://raynereznor.com/album/departure

Favorite Track: Survivors

RayneReznor

Sometimes you need a good sci-fi playlist. For example, currently, when I have to leave my house, I like to listen to really dark synthwave to set the tone for a post-apocalyptic raid for essentials. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to pay for my groceries, but if I walk in with a tough face on that says, “I’m all outta bubblegum,” no one gets within six feet of me. This album is fantastic if you’re in dire need of killer retrowave electronic montage music. I’m pretty sure I can say this with confidence… we all always need good montage music. This album dropped on March 24, 2020.

The Love you withhold is the pain you carry by Sunsetter

https://sunnsetter.bandcamp.com/album/the-love-you-withhold-is-the-pain-you-carry

Favorite Track: The Love you withhold is the pain you carry

Sunsetter

When I heard the first second of this albums featured track, I knew I was going to love it. This beautiful bedroom pop album is the first album released by Sunsetter since the 2018 album, “Worrybody”.  Sunsetter is the project of Andrew McLeod from Hamilton, Ontario. McLeod describes the last few years as some of the hardest. After fighting a tremendous battle with his mental illness and spending a lot of time isolated while trying to work through things, he describes being at an all-time low, feeling empty and uninspired. After a year without music, he joined the bands Zoongideewin and Deep Bright which got his musical gears turning and got him talking about music with friends again. This new Sunsetter album is so wonderfully deep. It gives you a pit in your stomach at the same time it warms your heart. This album came out on March 20, 2020.

Paranoia by Tenseventeen

https://tenseventeen.bandcamp.com/album/paranoia

Favorite Track: Tag You’re It

tenseventeen

If you’re craving something darker but still along the electronic vein,  this may be more down your alley. Paranoia is much darker and ambient with a beat driving it along, but soundscapes setting the tone. For example, it’s hard not to feel a little creeped out when listening to the tracks when one of the tones sounds a lot like the ominous wind. This album was released on March 20, 2020. 

I hope you enjoyed this installment of “Katy’s ‘End of Days’ Playlist. I’ll keep my eyes on the web for cool new stuff coming out during our elongated time at home. Stay tuned for part 2 coming to a computer near you soon. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your damn hands!

Put Korine On Your Quarantine Playlist

I wasn’t quite ready for the retro rewind I was about to embark on when I was presented with Korine’s work. As soon as I started digging through their discography I was immediately transported to a 1987 shopping mall with my favorite walkman blasting my favorite mixtape. Somewhere in the shadows of New Wave twisted through the more modern sounds of Darkwave you’ll find the sounds of Korine.

This Philadelphia, PA, based duo combines layered synthesizer melodies with steady movement from the drums and sultry, dark vocals. Every goth staple you need for the perfect soundtrack to your deep and longing stare into the void is present with Korine.

The opening track to New Arrangements is called “Captive,” I like to keep a bit of mystery when it comes to what lyrical content may be about, but I’m quite certain from the catchy Retropop vibes thumping from this track that they may be referring to you, the listener, now being captive to their grooves within the first few moments of this record. I found myself trapped somewhere between the excitement of finding a new act and the sweet throws of nostalgia.

The standout track to me on this record is “Heaven’s Servant.” It features a music video complete with glitch effects, goth folks in a cemetary and the beautifully androgynous members of the group sensually sporting a skull mask mixed in with bits of live footage. This specific track really had me feeling like I needed to move and be moved. It exists somewhere between Tears for Fears and A Flock of Seagulls on the soundscape with a more modern feel.

The entirety of this record is consistent in its dark-pop delivery. The melodies are catchy, the drums sound great and keep the song moving all the way to the title track to close out the record. “Elegance & You” finishes the album on a strong note and is accompanied by a music video that makes great use of a home video look and feel which adds to the retro vibe the act is going for.


Initially, I was just going to dig into only this release. However, once I got my feet wet, I felt like I absolutely needed more. Korine is cut from the same cloth as The Human League, Tears for Fears, and they absolutely capture the modern feel of the 80’s sounds these acts pioneered. Korine’s most recent release is a 7” split of two killer tracks “Uncrossed / To You.” Both songs on this release are equally strong. The lyrical content and passionate delivery of the vocals in “To You” feel as though they were acquiesced into existence by a lamented lover.

“Uncrossed” really showcases the artistic growth of the duo. The songwriting is subtly layered and catchy. The production values of both the track and the music video suggest that we haven’t seen or heard the best from this East Coast duo yet. I’m excited to see where they go from here. I’m a big fan of their approach to songwriting. It uses “negative space” at a mature level and manages to pack big sound into just a few instruments.

Korine is currently on tour. You can catch a list of upcoming dates, merch, music and videos on their bandcamp:

https://korine.bandcamp.com/

 

2020 has some amazing music festivals. Here is our guide to help you get the most musical band for your duckets.

As the scene of Goth/Industrial/Darkwave/Post Punk/Shoegaze music continues to experience an amazing renaissance, live shows are becoming a haven for the masses of fans to connect. This year boasts a boatload of amazing festivals where bands and fans can meet and share their love of this scene, so I will try and put together a guide of some of the great ones so you can plot a trip full of memories to last a lifetime.

Dark Spring Festival – (Boston) I am super excited for and will be at this one. This a brand new festival is anticipating its first year and they are already starting out strong with an amazing lineup including some of my favorite up-and-coming bands, mixed with long-term favorites. Great town with a cool scene. *Best New Festival

1. Un Hombre Solo (NYC)
2. Golden Apes (Berlin)
3. Sonsombre (VA)
4. Secret Shame (NC)
5. Shanghai Beach (NYC)
6. Pilgrims of Yearning (Boston)
7. Twin Tribes (TX)

https://www.facebook.com/events/2224829014290261

Golden Apes at Boston Dark Spring Fest
Dark Spring Festival Berlin

Dark Spring Festival Berlin – This brilliant festival inspired the aforementioned Boston one. It was started by Christian of Golden Apes and features Swiss darkwave act Hapax, Finnish Goth Rock elders Two Witches, Russian New Wave quintet Brandenburg, and French No Wave duo Dear Deer. Lots of Representation from Switzerland’s ‘Dark Nights’ label.

https://www.facebook.com/events/bi-nuu/dark-spring-festival-2020-berlin-bi-nuu/1275406542622411/

Hapax at Dark Spring Festival Berlin

Absolution Fest – (Tampa Bay, FL) Located in Tampa’s legendary club The Castle, this festival started last year and works closely with our friends at Obscura Undead. Tampa Bay has an outstanding scene, and this lineup is off the chain. I mean, fucking Drab Majesty! This one was spectacular last year and every band who played it told me how inspiring it was. Plus, you’re in Florida heat at one of the most renown goth clubs in the US. *Best Value

Pre-Party Lineup:
October 8th at Hooch and Hive
Mr.Kitty
Cold Medicine
Gulf Blvd with DJ MAUS

Day 1 Lineup:
October 9th at Crowbar
Hante.
Astari Nite
Rosegarden Funeral Party
Sonsombre
Die Robot
The Kentucky Vampires
Pass/Ages with
DJ Winters and DJ Black

Day 2 Lineup:
October 10th at The Orpheum
Drab Majesty
TRAITRS
The Bellwether Syndicate
S Y Z Y G Y X
Third Realm
The Purge
Mother Juno

https://www.facebook.com/events/2473284262889368/

Drab Majesty will be at Absolution Fest

Cold Waves – (Chicago) – So we went to this show last year and it was a life changing experience. The scene, the venue, the cause, the history, this is everything you hope for from a top-notch music fest. This one has been doing it right for a long time, and the lineup is absolutely stacked. Phenomenal mix of goth and industrial, old and new, plus the fact that Chicago, as a city, is so deeply entrenched in music history. Finally, Jim Marcus is doing a DJ set and I am here for that content! *Best Lineup

http://coldwaves.net/

Stabbing Westward will be at Cold Waves Chicago

Convergence – (Louisville KY) Interesting new venue for this long running festival. Amaranth applied for this one but sadly didn’t make it this time. Maybe next year. However when I look at this boss lineup I can’t feel mad. They packed this show with top talent in lots of genres. *Great lineup Fresh New Scene

  • The Kentucky Vampires
  • Xorcist
  • The Rope
  • Wingtips
  • Scary Black
  • S Y Z Y G Y X
  • Sonsombre
  • Twin Tribes
  • Vyva Melinkolya
  • God Module
  • The Bellwether Syndicate
Twin Tribes at Convergence KY

https://www.facebook.com/events/471361446925391/

Cold Transmission Fest – (Cologne Germany) – Our dear friends at Cold Transmission records started their first festival last year and we had the opportunity to cover it. It was amazing. The way people traveled from all over the world to come together and share a passion for great music. After the success of last year Suzy, Andy and team have expanded and have another wonderful lineup and more to be announced. My heart will be with them again. *Great Lineup, Intimate show

ASH CODE
BEDLESS BONES
IAMTHESHADOW
MARK E MOON
DILK

Ash Code will be at Cold Transmission festival

https://www.facebook.com/events/1417909858356678/

Dark Side of the Con – (Parsippany NJ) – Another long running festival I hear everyone rave about year after year but I’ve never attended. I need to get this on my list. This year it is a who’s who of 3rd wave goth and industrial. Big line up with lots of established acts. If this time period in goth was your jam you can’t beat this. Plus it has a convention feel with a lot of things beyond the music (panels, art, DIY, access to bands)

The Birthday Massacre
Cruxshadows
suicide commando
GRENDEL
DAS ICH BAND
God Module
Bella Morte
Echo Black Ego Likeness The Gothsicles
The Rain Within Astari Nite Chmcl Str8jckt
Methodical Devil-M DaGeist Ghostfeeder
00tz 00tz Die Robot Cliff and Ivy Stoneburner
Abbey Death Peter Turns Pirate Tragic Impulse
The Mary Lous Red Lokust

The Birthday Massacre will be at Dark Side of the Con
Out From the Shadows Fest

https://www.facebook.com/events/2556610007786941/?active_tab=about

Out From the Shadows Fest – (Portland) – Another festival I have heard wonderful things about from a great music city. This lineup is stellar and really runs the entire frequency of music styles. Great focus on fresh bands doing 3 stacked nights of music. Huge lineup with a lot of bigger named acts blending well with fresh faces. Plus Portland is just a great place to have a vacation if you are goth.

Thursday:

SYZYGYX (Wash. DC)
FEARING (LA)
KOMRADS (Rochester NY)
LOVE HATE AFFAIR (Austin)
THE ELECTRIC WEST (LA)
PHYSICAL WASH (PDX)
RITUAL VEIL (PDX)
– TBD –

Friday:

BODY OF LIGHT (Arizona)
AUTOMELODI (Montreal)
SSLEEPING DESIRESS (SF)
MAYFLOWER MADAME (Oslo)
PUSH BUTTON PRESS (Tampa)
V.E.X. (members of MOIRA SCAR) (Oakland)
VERSARI (Paris)
WE ARE PARASOLS (PDX)

Saturday:

RITUAL HOWLS (Detroit)
TEARFUL MOON (Austin)
KORINE (Philadelphia)
ASTARI NITE (Miami)
SICK WISH (Boise)
SEVENTEEN AT THIS TIME (Paris)
MR WRONG (PDX)
LIES WE WERE TOLD (PDX)

Ritual Howls will be at Out of the Shadows Fest
San La Muerta Festival

San La Muerta Festival – (Austin Tx) Austin is probably one of the best cities for goth industrial in the US. The list of bands currently out of this town is staggering. Great DJ support. I imagine this party is off the chain. They boast a monster lineup from all over the globe. The Vanishing doing a reunion and Shes Past Away.

https://www.facebook.com/events/573222733407494/

San La Muerte Fest 2020
Sept. 17th – 19th
Austin Texas

-This year SLM proudly presents:
from Spain
ANA CURRA
(formerly of Paralisis Permanente, Alaska y Los Pegamoides, Los Seres Vacios)
Ana Curra will perform Friday Sept. 18th, 2020 in Austin Texas
Venue: TBA
Tickets available now on SLM website

-SHE PAST AWAY
One of the best current Darkwave Post Punk bands. Only Texas Show! All the way from Turkey!
Sept. 19th with The Vanishing
Elysium Austin Texas

-THE VANISHING (San Francisco)
20 YEAR REUNION!
Only Texas Date!
The Vanishing will be playing Saturday Sept. 19th
alongside She Past Away!
Venue:Elysium
Tickets available now on SLM website

The Vanishing at San La Muerte Fest

Dark Malta Festival – (Malta) Great mixture of Euro darkness. Some big names in goth/Industrial/ and metal here. Plus it is in Malta in April which i imagine is gorgeous. If you have the means, I highly recommend checking it out, so choice 😉

https://www.facebook.com/events/428462821068850/?active_tab=discussion

Solar Fake is at Dark Malta Festival

I will continue to update this as lots of the big festivals have not announced lineups yet. Wave Gothic, Sanctuary, Machinefest.

Sounds and Shadows joins (The Belfry Network)

Since starting Sounds and Shadows, I have been re-immersing myself into the goth subculture, old and new. Part of that was listening to other podcasts on a variety of dark related topics: I’ve always felt if you want to be a better writer, you must read good writers. I have found the same logic holds true for making a podcast. Part of that research led me to “Cemetery Confessions” the #1 goth podcast in the world, so I was thrilled when they reached out and told me they had really enjoyed our podcast and would like us to be in their club of immense darkness. As I got to know some of the other podcasts in the group, I figured I should take some time to share them with you.

Cemetery Confessions: Daniel Ford has built an amazing following and earned the respect of artists, musicians, and fans the world over. He has widely varied guests from the scene. Discusses topics like “Gatekeeping” “The Evolution of Goth” “Native Goth” which are well thought out and researched. A wonderful blend of humorous and informative with lots of the best in new and old Goth. There is a good reason Cemetery Confession’s really sets the standard for this genre.

http://www.thebelfry.rip/cemeteryconfessions

Rose Sinister Vampire Podcast

https://www.rosesinister.com/

Rose Sinister: So a lot of goth culture tends to focus on the music or fashion. Yet literature has always been an important part of the scene and of building the aesthetic. This podcast focuses on vampires and macabre culture in books.

The Morbid Curiosity – This really cool podcast focuses on the history and stories of the dark and dangerous parts of the human mind. Great research and fascinating subjects.

Horror Addicts.net – This is a really cool discussion and review page for horror novels and movies. They also have some excellent musical interludes like Valentine Wolfe. Run by Emerian Rich from San Fran. She is passionate about the spook and really gets great discussion going.

https://gothcast.com/

Gothcast – Dr. Sanders runs this awesome goth podcast I had been listening to for a while. It has several pieces on goth music history, books, the scene, new music. They really do their homework. If you are finding goth and weren’t born in 1973 this is a great place to learn and speak like an old soul.

The Green Widow

Necromancy Radio – Australian podcast and blog by The Green Widow. Really cool discussion on the goth music scene. I also like all the goth AF jewelry she makes and sells on the site. She does fabulous interviews with bands that really give an in depth look. I want to hear her interview The Ghost of Bela Lugosi

 Marlena Midnite and Robyn Graves

https://www.midnitemausoleum.com/

Midnite Lounge – I really like the perspective of two younger goth voices. They talk about a lot of pop culture with darker themes. Lots of TV discussion, movies, and general spook.

http://www.thebelfry.rip/i-confess

I Confess – Dj Gomez from Cemetery Confessions Mark does some quick hits about a variety of topics in the goth culture. Interested and open minded takes. I like that a DJ you would expect to hear primarily on music from gives some opinion pieces.

http://www.thebelfry.rip/blog/2017/11/26/i-confess-episode-5

Gothropology

Gothropology – Ok I loved this podcast. It was something that crossed over Rachel and my interest. Talking about history and culture. Goth parenting, social constructs, feminism and in general studying the true cultural aspects.

http://www.thebelfry.rip/blog/2017/5/14/bitchcraft-episode-1

Mikhail Büer

The Dark Light – This is an awesome music show with some of the best in new and old dark music. In fact I really need to send them an Amaranth album. It opened with a goth cover of Backstreet Boys so obviously I am here for this. No discussion just music but great music.

http://www.thebelfry.rip/blog/2018/2/15/paradise-lost-the-dark-light

Sounds and Shadows – Now we are here. I assume if you are reading this then you know us. However we do Reviews, Interviews, news, and podcasts of everything happening in the world of Goth/Industrial/Edm/Synthwave/Postpunk/Darkwave/Shoegaze and more.

The podcast scene is a new one for us and I am proud to be with such fine creatures of darkness and delight.

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