This week is an extraordinarily busy week as I’ve been covering this year’s New Colossus Festival. So I haven’t been posting with the same regularity as I’d normally would. But I’m seeing live music and doing that valuable in-person networking one has to do to get by. And I’m having a ton of fun doing so. But as always, let’s get to the business at hand . . .
Ritual Wave is an emerging post-punk/dark wave duo featuring Toronto-based Judy Karacs and San Diego-based John Goodman. The Canadian/American duo bonded over a mutual love and appreciation for similar styles of music, which led to their collaboration together. Although they’ve been working on material since 2018, the duo’s work sonically sees them combining elements of old school post-punk with melodic dark wave undertones.
“My Sin” their second official single together as Ritual Wave features Karacs’ sultry cooing over glistening and icy synth arpeggios, a propulsive, angular bass line and subtle industrial clang and clatter. Sonically, “My Sin” — to my ears at least — recalls Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode and the like, but fueled by a desperate, obsessive desire.
“My Sin” as the Canadian/American duo explain uses religious themes as a metaphor to express the psychological torment and destruction of a person willing to sacrifice everything in order to be loved. And as a result, the song explores the darkest sides of obsession, control and desire as is relates to romantic affairs.
“This track was really a labour of love for us. We actually wrote ‘My Sin’ very quickly, in 2018, but ended up re-working, re-recording and re-editing it ’till we finally decided it was ready,” Ritual Wave’s Judy Karacs explains in press notes. “With the lyrics and melody I really wanted to explore the subject of obsession and how that impacts the human psyche. I likened these feelings to a strong religious devotional experience. It was the idea of having such a profound faith in someone that you were willing to sacrifice everything just to hold onto what they made you believe was love. Obviously, this belief was based more on unhealthy fixation and desire instead of genuine love.”
Edited by Ritual Wave’s Judy Karacs, the accompanying visual is shot in a gorgeous and sultry black and white, and evokes the song’s central themes: lust and obsession through religious metaphors.