We have returned to the Sounds and Shadows Darkscene singles chart. This month I have combined April and May but we have had the most votes cast to date. 2081 votes from our group of Bands, Djs, Reviewers, Promotors, and Superfans. These were all singles released in April/May of 2023 in the loose “Darkscene” genre. If you have a single out in June or know someone who does please add it to the Sounds and Shadows Facebook group poll, or become a Patron Subscriber. All the songs here are bangers, so please give a listen, support underground music, and tell us about your favorites.
- Ground Nero – Stars
- Leathers – Fascination
- The Bellwether Syndicate – Noir Thing
- Health – Hateful
- Bellhead – Bad Taste
- Bara Hari – Agoraphobic
- Vaselyne – Under Your Skin
- Self Titled Album – Haunted Chuck E Cheese
- Danny Blu + Moris Blak – Cover of Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation“
- CARV.R feat (Mari Kattman) – Deflect
- Ego Likeness – Cover of Madonna “Live To Tell”
- Ground Nero – Stars – April 2023 release out of Belgium from Mark Sayles (Mark E Moon) , Peter Philtjens, and Peter Smeets. The first thing I notice, glorious organic drum beats which make this feel more old school than any guitar riff could. Mark’s vocals growl like a lean wolf stalking under a full moon. The chorus opens with a captivating hook worthy of the Mission. It’s a modern day anthem plucked straight from the 80s.
Stars | Ground Nero (bandcamp.com)
2) Leathers – Fascination – Another April release from Vancouver Canada synthstarlight project of Actors member Shannon Hemmett. Every single released gets more sparkling and elegant. Shannon’s voice burns braver. I love the jet set Duran Duran 80’s opulence in every molecule of this sound.
3) The Bellwether Syndicate – Noir Thing – I waited so long for this album and single from the Chicago legends. They just returned from a tour and trip to Germany. This whole record is produced within an inch of it’s life. This single is a furious rampage let off the leash. William Faith has a lip curl snarl in his voice. Blistering Sigue Sigue Sputnik time changes and Jesus and Mary Chain rockabilly bassline. If you have never witnessed this live you desperately need to.
Noir Thing | The Bellwether Syndicate (bandcamp.com)
4) HEALTH – Hateful – LA Electronica demolition experts with an explosive new single. This intro absolutely sizzles. Listening to it makes me want to plan a jewel heist. It crackles with danger, it drips with sensuality, it swirls with deception. There is a reason EVERYONE in modern electronica is raving about this trio.
HATEFUL | HEALTH (bandcamp.com)
5) Bellhead – Bad Taste – Chicago bass duo keeps rolling out tension narratives of undefinable indie darkness that continue to be unnerving, captivating, and fresh. The vocals between Karen and Ivan are a dialog between thunderous baselines and slashing guitars. This is a dark star rising before our eyes.
Bad Taste | BELLHEAD (bandcamp.com)
6) Bara Hari – Agoraphobic – LA based theatrical dark pop with this shock whip April single. I just had an interview with Sam about this single and video. She really captured the national emotion during the pandemic of the walls closing in. Powerful delivery on a slinky dance beat and sword strike guitar riffs.
Agoraphobic | BARA HARI (bandcamp.com)
7) Vaselyne – Under Your Skin – The Dutch Duo of Yvette Winkler and Frank Weyzig on COP International return to our chart once again. Beautiful, delicate, haunting that organic connection of plucked acoustic strings against Yvette’s mournful plead. Around 2:40 the sky opens up with a sky fire guitar solo and vocal harmony. Raw emotion that gets under your skin.
Under Your Skin | Vaselyne (bandcamp.com)
8) Self Titled Album – Haunted Chuck E Cheese – Once again Utah based shadowdelic band of Rob Fkin Varney,
Josh Hollar, and Tim Hall grace our chart. It’s always difficult to put words to the slushy decay and electronic assault. This track has a wonderful 90s alt rock hook that really captures the nostalgia of anyone who was abandoned in the animatronic capitalistic horror show that is Chuck E Cheese.
Haunted Chuck-E-Cheese | Self Titled Album (bandcamp.com)
9) Danny Blu + Moris Blak – Cover of Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson – I just saw this amazing tour a few weeks ago and the chemistry between these two top tier artists is a blessing for us all. I have long held that the Rhythm nation album was always an industrial pop record which defined the genre before we had a word for it. I love how this cover brings the best of both artists. Danny’s cadence is sharp and throws sparks with every steel foot stomp. The backing music is crackling precision and mysterious twists you can never quite predict. If you still have a chance to see this tour it was one of the most exciting things I have seen live in a long while.
Rhythm Nation | Danny Blu, MORIS BLAK | SHVDOW Records (bandcamp.com)
10) CARV.R Feat Mari Kattman – Deflect – East coast team up of Cristian Carver and Mari Kattman two veteran performer/producers which united to unleash this jam. New England Poltergiest Disco at it’s finest. The percussion is such a cascading tight spiral which Mari’s voice dances on like a ballerina. I love everything about this pairing and hope there is more to come.
Deflect feat. Mari Kattman | CARV.R (bandcamp.com)