Tag: goth

New Video: Donnie Doolittle’s Darkly HIlarious “Resurrect Me”

Donnie Doolittle is a Charlotte-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Although Doolittle studied piano and guitar as a child, he cut his teeth fronting a series of popular local bands in the early 2000s, including garage pop act Stone Figs, doom rock outfit Little Bull Lee and dark, psychedelic solo project Dreamy D.

Back in 2018, Doolittle recorded the first version of upbeat psuedo-lovesong “When a Woman,” a song inspired by 1970s Aussie thrilled Wake in Fright, while visiting his friend, producer Jesse Clasen in New York. Originally conceived as a Dreamy D, the collaboration marked a shift in his songwriting and creative process, and later became the first single under his own name. “That song just felt different: I was evolving, and I wanted to start fresh, releasing tracks under my own name,” he says. “The new music feels more true to who I am as an artist and as a person.”

As a solo artist, Doolittle crafts moody, synth driven material that hover between dark, retro-pop and melancholy rock that blends bright, pop-leaning melodies into ominous and cinematic soundscapes. Described as “Southern New Wave,” to “Goth Americana” by the press, his genre-bending sound has frequently been compared to Orville Peck, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, and Iggy Pop. He pairs each release with carefully-honed imagery and thematic narrative videos, meant to engage a range of senses. “I want to provide a full experience—to use my resources to create a palpable ambiance,” Doolittle says.

Doolittle’s Jesse Clasen-produced self-titled, full-length debut is slated for an April 7, 2023 release. The 12-song album reportedly features arrangements that weave together modern and vintage synths (most notably, the Mellotron and 80s-era Roland Juno 106) with electric guitar, bass and drums to create songs that drift mood-wise between vibrant and gloomy. Informed by Doolittle’s love of the work of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Lee Hazlewood, the album’s cinematic arrangements help to draw listeners into multifaceted sonic worlds, laced with sharp, narrative lyrics that touch upon religion, gender, pop culture and sexuality with a light, subtly ironic touch. “I like to play around with religion and sex,” says Doolittle. “Feeling jaded about God and the world, but also firmly attached to both. I think that’s a big part of Southern culture, and who I am as an artist…for better or worse.”

Along with the album announcement, Doolittle shared the album’s latest single, the slow-burning and broodingly cinematic “Resurrect Me.” Featuring twangy and reverb-drenched guitars, glistening and atmospheric synths paired with Doolittle’s baritone paired with big hooks and a buzzing guitar solo, “Resurrect Me” manages to sound a bit like a synthesis of the Twin Peaks soundtrack, Bruce Springsteen‘s “Tunnel of Love” and Orville Peck, while rooted in a bittersweet heartache.

“I started writing this song after learning about so-called ‘resurrection men,’ body snatchers in the 18th and 19th centuries that would exhume corpses from graveyards and sell them to medical schools for research and teaching purposes,” Doolittle explains. “I was interested in the idea of someone seeing value in these buried and abandoned vessels, and putting in the work to give them a second chance at showing their worth above ground. I related to the dead people in this scenario.”

Directed by North Carolina-based producer and director Josh Rob Thomas, the accompanying video is a darkly hilarious visual that follows Doolittle’s corpse on a wild adventure as its passed along a rotation cast of odd companions. “As heavy as the inspiration was, I thought we could lighten the mood with the video. Influenced by absurd films like Weekend at Bernie’s (which didn’t age too well) and Swiss Army Man, we took my corpse on an adventure with a rotating cast of companions,” Doolittle explains. “Fun was had with most of them, but only one character cared enough to put me to rest. I’ve assembled a very talented production team and we stepped up our game for this one. I hope you enjoy it.”

New Audio: Elita Shares Woozy and Creepy “She Bangs Like a Fairy on Acid”

Rising indie outfit ElitaElita (vocals), Tim Rypien (guitar, keys) and John Eddy (guitar, slide guitar) can trace some of their origins back to their frontperson’s childhood:

Elita grew up in a small Newfoundland town of less than 800 people and spent much of his childhood in isolation. With the encouragement of her parents, she developed artistic skills in photography, drawing, dancing, singing and music. As a teenager, she changed schools frequently.

Feeling isolated and adrift from friends, she found comfort in social media. Back in 2015, Elita began to amass a following on Instagram, and started modeling. In 2017, she launched her own business, designing zines and a few years later, launched a successful jewelry line. That same year, she met her boyfriend and then-future bandmate Tim Rypien.

Elita and Rypsen recorded a cover of The Velvet Underground‘s “After Hours.” With a growing interest in film, Elita focused on writing a film script with Tim — with no success. But that collaboration led to their first single, 2018’s “I Hate Everyone but You.” Originally, they had no intention of making the song public, but after recording a test demo, they decided to release it.

So far, the trio have amassed over 30 million streams — with very little industry support. During that same period, they’ve firmly cemented a reputation for crafting hypnotic, frequently dark material centered around Elita’s ethereal and dreamy vocals singing sinister lyrics. Interestingly, the trio’s newest material reportedly builds upon the dark and haunting subjects of their previously released material, while thematically touching upon anxiety, depression and the supernatural.

Late last year, the Canadian trio announced that their highly-anticipated full-length debut, Dysania will be slated for a March 22, 2023 release through Opposition. The album will feature the previously released singles “Mentally Not Here and “Sleep Paralysis.”

Dysania‘s fourth and latest single, “She Bangs Like a Fairy on Acid” is rooted in an eerily twinkling keys, thumping beats paired with Elita’s ethereal vocals singing . The end result is a song that sounds like a woozy, hallucinogenic and downright hellish lullaby.

“I made this song at my parents house on Christmas Day. I was messing around with their digital piano trying to recreate the Unsolved Mysteries theme song,” Elita’s Tim Rypien explains. “I missed the mark but thankfully the beat for SBLAFOA’ was born.” Elita adds, “Timmy and I tried mushrooms for the first time before writing this song. I felt like I was living in a little fairy world and that totally inspired this song. I wrote the lyrics on Christmas too.”

New Video: Heartworms Shares Startling and Cinematic Visual for Brooding “Retributions Of An Awful Life”

Jojo Orme is a South London-based singer/songwriter, producer and mastermind behind the rapidly rising, goth-inspired post-punk outfit Heartworms. Uniformity plays a huge role with Orme and Heartworms: the metronomic music and meticulous fashion of acts like Interpol and Kraftwerk have been a major influence on the South London-based artist. But she also cites PJ Harvey, whose dark sense of humor and lyrical dexterity permeates her own songwriting.

Orme’s Heartworms debut, “Consistent Dedication” quickly exploded across both the British and international scene: She received nods from the NME 100 and Dork Hype List for 2023, and she received critical applause from The FADER, The Quietus, Loud and Quiet, The Line of Best Fit, So Young Magazine, Clash Magazine and a lengthy list of others. The song was added to BBC Radio 6 Music‘s playlist following airplay from the station’s Chris Hawkins, Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft. And the song received airplay from Radio X‘s John Kennedy and BBC Radio 1‘s Jack Saunders and Gemma Bradley.

She has also made a name for self on the national live circuit in the past year: She played DIY Magazine and So Young Magazine showcases at The Great Escape. She opened for Lime Garden. And lastly, Sports Team invited her to play their annual Margate bus trip.

Building upon a growing profile, the rising South London-based artist’s debut EP A Comforting Notion is slated for a March 24, 2023 release through Speedy Wunderground. The EP’s latest single “Retributions Of An Awful Life” further cements an uneasy and deeply goth-inspired take on post-punk featuring ambient noise, glistening synth oscillations, skittering beats and slashing guitars paired with Orme’s defiant and swaggering delivery, which seems equally indebted to hip-hop and punk rock. The song reveals a singular artist, crafting something completely new from the familiar, while delving deep into her own psyche.

Directed by Niall Trask and Dan Matthews, the accompanying video for “Retributions Of An Awful Life” is shot in a cinematic yet intimate black and white, and stars Orme, along with Natalia Tonner, Lizzy Walsh, Lizzy Walsh, Pip Smith, Marko Andic, Tom White, Simone Reca and Jazz as a military regiment going through some brutal military training exercises. Throughout we see the members of the miserable regiment, covered in dust and mud, wincing in pain, fighting to continue through the wet and cold. Their suffering is real and difficult to watch yet compelling and symbolic: We all have to figure out some way to push through in the face of terrible suffering — whether from outside forces larger than us or from within — and in face of our own fears.

“The song itself lyrically is deeply unsettling, I wanted it to come alive in action. I had an idea of being kitted up in full militaria of no specific regiments, in black and white, putting my body through cold water and wet mud,” Orme explains. “This was stepping outside my comfort zone because I’m not a skilled swimmer; deep water frightens me immensely, especially when cold and in full military gear.”

She continues: “Not many artists/bands I know have done something this raw. I didn’t want to go for a fancy video with pretty dancers or lovely wallpaper plastered with an airbrush filter – I wanted to imbibe a new pain, bring to life punishment, fight fears while abiding relentlessness with my friends by my side. To have put my body through something I found frightening just for the art… there’s something exhilarating about it.”

New Audio: ZADAR Teams up with Isa Niels on Shimmering and Brooding “Halos On The Moon”

Antonio G is a Philadelphia-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind the goth/darkwave outfit ZADAR. He’s currently working on the project’s first album — and is searching for like-minded musicians to join him in playing the material live.

ZADAR’s latest single “Halos On The Moon” sees the Philadelphia-based Antonio G collaborating with Isa Nielsen, a singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has opened for Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello and John 5, who has played with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie — and is the newest member of Mötley Crùe. Nielsen has also played on MTV Specials, MTV’s VMB Awards. Built around shimmering guitars, a relentless motorik-like groove, Neilsen’s plaintive vocals and enormous hooks, “Halos On The Moon” may recall The Sisters of Mercy and Cocteau Twins, while being rooted in swooning Romanticism.

“‘Halos’ is a song about regret and loss. It’s a song about somehow coming to terms with your failure and past mistakes and still moving on with your life,” Antonio G explains.

New Video: Detroit’s VAZUM Releases a Brooding Visual for Atmospheric “Gallows”

Zach Pliska is a Detroit music scene vet, who has played drums in a number of local bands, which has given him valuable hands-on experience writing, recording and touring. Pliska founded VAZUM back in 2017, and over the course of six self-released albums that have found the band’s sound bouncing around and spanning across several different genres and styles including post-punk and doom. 

During most of the band’s history, the band has gone through a series of lineup changes but Pliska found a deep connection with Emily Sturm (vocals, bass), who joined in 2019. With a background in the visual arts, Sturm has been instrumental in giving the project, a new, uncompromising aesthetic edge, which has resulted in what Pliska and Strum have dubbed as “deathgaze,” as they combine the raw energy of death rock with the sonic depth of shoegaze.

Last year, the Detroit-based duo was rather busy: They released two albums, V+, which featured the Sioxuise and the Banshees meets Sisters of Mercy meets The Verve-like “Haunted House,” a song based on a haunting, real-life experience, and Unrated V. VAZUM closed out last year with the “Gallows” double single, which featured two different versions of the song — with the first being, a slow-burning shoegazer version of “Gallows” centered around an arrangement of dreamy guitars, forceful drums and Shrum’s achingly plaintive vocals. Sonically speaking “Gallows” is slick mixture of A Storm in Heaven-like textures and brooding Siouxsie and the Banshees-like atmospherics.

Along with the double single, the band released an Emily Strum-directed video for “Gallows” that features the duo — Strum in a wedding dress and occasionally and Plinska in black peering into binoculars in a wintry forest. The brooding and gorgeous visual seems heavily indebted to Edgar Allan Poe.

New Video: Golem Dance Cult Releases a Horror Movie -inspired Visual for Goth-like “Nosferatu Waltz”

Split between France and England, the emerging, self-described “industrial heavy rock dance” duo Golem Dance Cult features two experienced musicians and longtime friends: producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Charles Why, who has played in Lotsa Noise, Nexus and L-Dopa and vocalist Laur, who has played in Sparkling Bombs, Kevin K Band, Vague Scare and Other-ed. Golem Dance Cult can trace its origins back to when its members were teenagers, playing in their first band together, a band in which Laur played drums.

Although the duo have written material remotely, both as a result of the distance currently between the two and the pandemic, their work is centered around a couple of simple parameters: the intention behind everything needed to be spontaneous, with each member following their instinct. Additionally mistakes should be expanded upon. The end result is a rock-inspired approach paired with electronic production — without the formal structure of either genre.

The duo’s recently released debut EP Grotesque Radio, features “(In My Time Of) Living On Mars” and “Marry Me, Frankenstein” and its latest single “Nosferatu Waltz.” Centered around an angular bass riff, a forceful motorik-like groove, wiry blasts of buzzing guitar, Laur’s croon, “Nosferatu Waltz” will bring comparisons to Bauhaus‘ famous “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” with a playful nod to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

Directed by the band, the recently released video for “Nosferatu Waltz” is split between footage of the band appearing as spectral and creepy figures shot in a grainy, old-fashioned black and white and extracts from Friedrich Wilhelm Murneau’s Nosferatu, Victor Halperin’s White Zombie, which starred Bela Lugosi and Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast.

“I had this idea for a bass riff variation on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker for a while so it flowed naturally from there,” Golem Dance Cult’s Charles Why says. He continues, “Inga Liljestrom lent us her amazing voice on this track and has a cameo at the end of the video.” Laur adds “Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu The Vampyre was the first horror movie I ever watched when I was like 10. Once you go black you can never go back they say…Vampire music is in my blood… “

New VIdeo: JOVM Mainstays Kælan Mikla Teams up with Alcest on Brooding and Atmospheric “Hvítir Sandar”

2018 was a breakthrough year for Reykjavik-based post-punk/industrial act and JOVM mainstays Kælan Mikla— Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir (synths, vocals),  Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrysdóttir (bass), and Laufey Soffía Þórsdóttir (vocals): The Cure’s Robert Smith championed the Icelandic trio, and handpicked them to open for the legendary British act’s festival stops through the UK and US. The Icelandic post punk outfit played that year’s Roadburn Festival, and they toured with King Dude. Interestingly enough, all of that happened before the release of their critically applauded third album Nótt eftir nott. 

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum, the Reykjavik-based trio’s soon-to-be released, Barði Jóhannsson-produced fourth album is slated for release next week through their longtime label home Artoffact RecordsUndir Köldum Norðumljósum reportedly sees the trio crafting lush and cinematic material centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals sung in their native Icelandic, spine-chilling background screams, relentless motorik grooves and programmed drums while pulling the listener into their unique world full of folklore, fairytales, magic, spells and mysticism. The album will also feature a guest spot from Alcest, who toured with the trio across the European Union before the pandemic. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release I’ve managed to write about three of the album’s released singles:

  • Sólstöður,” a brooding and cinematic track centered around droning and shimmering synths, nightmarish screams and an ethereal and gorgeous vocal melody. Sonically, “Sólstöður,” evokes horror soundtracks — especially those featuring witches and demons slinking out into the night to perform ancient rituals involving human or animal sacrifices. “’Sólstöður’ is an ode to the darkest night of the year, when witches summon winter spirits in the frozen vastness of Icelandic landscapes,” the members of the Icelandic trio explain in press notes. “The song represents the strength of unity, Kælan Mikla in its truest form, fueled by the power of harsh and raw nature.”
  • Ósýnileg,” a dance floor friendly track centered around shimmering and atmospheric synth arpeggios, relentless motorik grooves, rapid fire, four-on-the-floor beats and blood curdling screams in the background. Interestingly, the track manages to evoke strobe lit discos and howling wintry winds and unexplained phenomena simultaneously. 
  • Stormurinn,” a decidedly widescreen take on the sound that has won them attention internationally: While you’ll still hear shimming synth arpeggios, rapid fire four-on-the-floor, motorik grooves and razor sharp hooks paired with the trio’s ethereal vocals, you’ll also hear some a gorgeous flute arrangement and howling winds, which evoke Icelandic’s stormy and unpredictable weather.

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum‘s fourth and latest single is the slow-burning and brooding “Hvítir Sandar,” a collaboration with French act Alcest. Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir’s hauntingly ethereal vocals float over a stormy mix of glistening and icy synths and industrial clang and clatter.

“‘Hvítir Sandar’ is about feeling like you’re being defeated by your inner faults and demons. It’s about self-acceptance,” the Icelandic JOVM mainstays explain in press notes. ” Even if you carry a darkness within, it’s what makes you who you are, and you shouldn’t have to change for other people.”

“We felt really honored when Kælan Mikla offered us to be guests on their song ‘Hvítir Sandar,'” the members of Alcest say in press notes. “Alcest and Kælan Mikla toured together in 2020 and from the start we definitely saw connection between the two bands, despite the stylistic difference. ‘Hvítir Sandar’ is one of our favorites on the album and before even starting to work on it we had a vision of what the aesthetics of Alcest could bring to the song. We are so proud of how it turned out and we hope that the fans of Kælan Mikla will enjoy this collaboration just as much as we did!”

Directed by Máni Sigfússon, the recently released video for “Hvítir Sandar” continues a run of gorgeous and cinematically shot and incredibly eerie visuals paired with computer generated graphics.

Album pre-order is available here: https://kaelanmikla.bandcamp.com

Reykjavik-based post-punk/industrial act and JOVM mainstays Kælan Mikla— Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir (synths, vocals),  Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrysdóttir (bass), and Laufey Soffía Þórsdóttir (vocals) — had a breakthrough year back in 2018: The Cure’s Robert Smith championed the Icelandic trio, and handpicked them to open for the legendary British act’s festival stops through the UK and US. Adding to a big year, Kælan Mikla played at that year’s Roadburn Festival. And they toured with King Dude. Interestingly enough, all of that happened before the release of their critically applauded third album Nótt eftir nott. 

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum, the Reykjavik-based trio’s upcoming, Barði Jóhannsson-produced fourth album is slated for an October 15, 2021 release through their longtime label home Artoffact RecordsUndir Köldum Norðumljósum reportedly sees the trio crafting lush and cinematic material centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals sung in their native Icelandic, spine-chilling background screams, relentless motorik grooves and programmed drums while pulling the listener into their unique world full of folklore, fairytales, magic, spells and mysticism. The album will also feature a guest spot from Alcest, who toured with the trio across the European Union before the pandemic. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s released singles:

  • Sólstöður,” a brooding and cinematic track centered around droning and shimmering synths, nightmarish screams and an ethereal and gorgeous vocal melody. Sonically, “Sólstöður,” evokes horror soundtracks — especially those featuring witches and demons slinking out into the night to perform ancient rituals involving human or animal sacrifices. “’Sólstöður’ is an ode to the darkest night of the year, when witches summon winter spirits in the frozen vastness of Icelandic landscapes,” the members of the Icelandic trio explain in press notes. “The song represents the strength of unity, Kælan Mikla in its truest form, fueled by the power of harsh and raw nature.”
  • Ósýnileg,” a dance floor friendly track centered around shimmering and atmospheric synth arpeggios, relentless motorik grooves, rapid fire, four-on-the-floor beats and blood curdling screams in the background. Interestingly, the track manages to evoke strobe lit discos and howling wintry winds and unexplained phenomena simultaneously.

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum‘s third and latest single “Stormurinn” finds the trio crafting a decidedly cinematic take on their goth-inspired sound. While you’ll still hear the shimmering synth arpeggios, rapid fire four-on-the-floor, propulsive bass lines, motorik grooves and razor sharp hooks of its predecessors paired with the trio’s ethereal vocals. But unlike its predecessors, you’ll hear some gorgeous and fluttering flute floating over the brooding arrangement and howling winds — to help emphasize the song’s brooding atmospherics.

“Stormurinn’ means ‘The Storm’ in Icelandic. This song is about dancing around a bonfire on the beach on a stormy weather night charged with the power of wind and thunder,” the members of Kælan Mikla explain in press notes.

Album pre-order is available here: https://kaelanmikla.bandcamp.com

New Video: Rising Post Punk Act Menthüll Release a Haunting Visual for Brooding and Cinematic “Profonde Tristesse”

Formed last year, the rising Gatineau, Québec-based indie electronic/goth duo Menthüll –Gabriel and Yseult — have quickly established a retro-futuristic sound that draws equally from New Wave and electro pop paired with lyrics written and sung exclusively in French.

The Hull-based duo’s releases have received praise and accolades globally. Building upon a growing profile in the Francophone music scene and in the global post-punk and goth scenes, Menthüll’s latest single “Profonde tristesse” continues a run of brooding and cinematic material that sounds — to my ears, at least — indebted to John Carpenter soundtracks and the early 4AD Records catalog paired with vocals delivered in a wispy and ethereal French.

Interestingly, the accompanying visual aesthetically reminds a bit of Jorge Elbrecht: the viewer sees a classically-inspired marble bust superimposed in the foreground of a misty forest that gradually burst into a explosive conflagration.