Tag: Calm

Formed back in 2016, the Asheville, NC-based goth/post-punk act Secret Shame — Lena (vocals), Nathan (drums), Nikki (guitar), Matthew (bass) and Billie (guitar) — can trace their origins to all of its members feeling a desperate need to create. “If I couldn’t sing or play music, I would tear my skin off.” the band’s front person Lena explains in press notes. Shortly after their formation, the band released their self-titled debut EP, which quickly established a dark and atmospheric sound paired with lyrics that thematically touch upon issues of domestic abuse, mental health, political and social dissatisfaction and frustration. 

Interestingly, their full-length debut, Dark Synthetics is slated for a September 6, 2019 release through Portrayal of Guilt Records, and from the album’s latest single “Calm” the band will further establish their sound — an enormous reverb-heavy sound that draws from Siouxsie and the Banshees and 4AD Records: shimmering and angular guitars, a sinuous bass line, driving rhythms, razor sharp hooks paired with Lena’s voice slashing and cutting through the moody haze.  Underpinning it all is an emotional urgency — the sort that comes from lived-in experience.

“There’s not a single word I didn’t write from the pit of my stomach,” Lena says. “The entire record- even though the song dynamics change- has one solid emotion, which is the struggle of inner turmoil and being trapped inside yourself. It’s the feeling of holding a scream in the back of your throat.” She adds, “Some people avoid writing music that puts them in a vulnerable place, but that’s the place I’m trying to get into, That’s where you’re your most raw and hopefully people will be able to experience it through you. There’s nothing else like it.”



Pleasure House is a Birmingham, UK-based indie rock quartet, that is part of a set of contemporary acts currently reinvigorating their hometown’s music scene, and with their anthemic, power chord-heavy Brit Pop meets shoegaze meets Foo Fighters arena rock single “Calm,” off the band’s forthcoming Sentient EP slated for a May 26, 2017 release, the up-and-coming band adds themselves to a growing list of bands writing and releasing furious and urgent protest songs over their current political climate — whether here in the States, in the UK or elsewhere.

As the band’s frontman and primary songwriter Alex Hefferman explains in press notes, “I’d been feeling increasingly disaffected, like many others’ guilty of scrolling through torrents of hateful rhetoric and petty politics that add to the fragile disparity within our society, creating a war amongst ourselves. I wrote Calm as a protest song against this. It’s what I feel myself screaming at my screen, constantly exposed to a carefully calculated war on peace, feeling angry and afraid and helpless all at the same time. I wanted to write a song with a message of hope. A message of positivity and resistance that would resonate with everyone who feels disaffected too, because it feels like there’s conscious change in the air, and we should never allow fear to forget who our real enemy is.” Considering how utterly confusing and frightening the 24 hour news cycle can be, the song is a powerful reminder that all of us must not be distracted from the urgent work ahead.