Tag: Single Review: Poison

True Moon is a Malmo, Sweden-based post-punk/dark wave quartet, comprised of founding members Karolina Engdahl (vocals, bass) and Tommy Tift (guitar) — both of whom are former members of Swedish Grammy-winning act Vånna Inget, along with Linus Segerstedt (guitar) and Fredrik Orevad (drums). The Malmo, Sweden-based quartet can trace their origins to when its founding duo of Engdahl and Tift felt a desire to create something more raw and visceral than the material they were working on with their then-primary gig. “Karolina and I are bored with the Swedish music scene at the moment,” Tift explained at the time. “It feels like everyone has the same blueprint, like there’s an industry rulebook now for how bands must sound. We wanted to do something different.” Vånna Inget’s 2013 full-length effort Ingen Botten found the band sonically exploring New Wave and dark wave, and as Tift went on to say they felt a need to explore it more themselves.  “It was like an urge and we just had to do this,” True Moon’s Engdahl adds.

“We were listening to artists such as Joy Division, Killing Joke, Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and early Cure. There is a purity and honesty and integrity to that music that’s missing from the current scene,” the band’s Tift said back in 2017. “Those bands weren’t making music to be pop stars or rock stars, it is pure expression and pure art, and that’s the aesthetic we were pursuing.” Segerstedt and Orevad were recruited to complete the band’s lineup, and they began working on their 2016 self-titled debut, an effort that received attention across Scandinavia and elsewhere for crafting material that actively went for the sort of raw, urgent and unpolished feel and sound reminiscent of Martin Hannet‘s work with Joy Division.

As a result of attention they received from their self-titled debut, the Malmo-based post-punk act played shows across Sweden, the UK and the States, opening for Killing Joke, King Dude, MCC, Against Me! and a number of others. Building upon a growing national and international profile, True Moon’s highly-anticipated sophomore album II is slated for a November 1, 2019 release through Lövely Records —  and the album finds the band continuing their ongoing collaboration with with producer Jari Haapalainen, who also contributes guitar to the proceedings. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Poison” continues the raw and urgent aesthetic and feel of their full-length debut — and while clearly being indebted to Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and others, the track reveals some ambitious songwriting, as it possesses an enormous, arena rock-like quality.

 

 

 

 

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Interestingly enough, if you’ve been frequenting this site  over the past couple of years, you may have come across a couple of posts featuring the Washington, DC-based electro pop duo GEMS, comprised of Lindsay Pitts and John Usher. And although it has been a while since I’ve personally written about the Washington, DC-based electro pop duo, they have developed and maintained a reputation for crafting  slickly produced pop that manages to be intimate and confessional while expressing heartache and profound longing; in fact, with the release of the duo’s 2015 full-length debut, Kill The One You Love, Pitts and Usher received a rapidly growing national profile as the sensual album single “Soak” was praised across the blogosphere for thematically focusing on the sense of life being irrevocably altered after an heartbreaking breakup. But underneath the seemingly bleakness and heartache of the song, there’s a subtle ray of hope as the song’s narrators readily admit that life is frequently about accepting what has happened, trying to learn from it and then trying to move forward with the best of your ability.

The duo’s latest single “Poison” is also the latest single in their Every Full Moon Series — a single of the month series, in which the duo release a new single every Full Moon. Interestingly, as GEMS’ Lindsay Pitts explains in press notes, ” “Cliff and I started writing ‘Poison’ before we ended our romantic relationship. It laid untouched for a good year before we stumbled across it again. At first, resurrecting it brought me back to a really painful time in my life and elicited some heartbreaking visceral memories. However, we ended up breathing light into something we had started during a time of isolation and darkness.” Interestingly, while focusing on familiar themes of heartache and attempting to move forward past it, the song sonically speaking finds the duo drawing from 80s New Wave as they pair they’re aching boy-girl harmonies with shimmering guitars, electronic drums fed through reverb,  atmospheric electronics, and a razor sharp, memorable hook.

 

 

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Brent Faiyaz is a 20 year-old up-and-coming Maryland-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter,  who has captured the attention of the blogosphere with the release of “Poison” and “Invite Me” off his soon-to-be released EP A.M. Paradox. Produced by Ben Free, “Poison” pairs of a warm, neo-soul-leaning production featuring stuttering drum programming, twinkling organs and swirling electronics with Faiyaz’s tender crooning, which express vulnerability, self-doubt, a swaggering cockiness and an urgent, carnal need within the turn of a phrase. Interestingly enough, “Poison” reminds me quite a bit of a personal favorite of mine — Steven A. Clark‘s Fornication Under Consent of the King as the single possesses an honest and profound ache underneath the sleek hyper modern production.