Tag: The Sisters of Mercy

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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New Video: Up-and-Coming Swedish Duo White Birches Release a Politically Charged Primer On Resistance In Our Fraught Times

Comprised of Jenny Gabrielsson Mare and Fredrik Jonasson, the Swedish synth pop/dark wave duo White Birches formed back in 2013 and with the 2014’s debut EP Stands of White Birches and 2015’s full-length debut Dark Waters, the Swedish duo quickly received attention across Scandinavia for a sound that has been compared to Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins and The Sisters of Mercy, as the up-and-coming duo craft moody songs based around piano, angular guitar chords, analog synths, eerie yet pop-leaning melodies and dark lyrical content; in fact, their debut effort received a Best Synth nomination at the Swedish Indie Grammy Awards, Manifestgalan. 

Gabrielsson Mare and Jonasson signed with Progress Productions, who will be releasing their sophomore effort When The Street Calls on February 9, 2017, and the album’s latest single “Howl” will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for crafting moody synth-based goth-inspired dark wave, as the duo pair layers of soaring synths with propulsive drum programming, angular guitar chords and a rousingly anthemic hook — and while sounding as though it could have been released during 4AD Records heyday, the song possesses a punk rock urgency.

The recently released video for “Howl” features animation by Jenny Gabrielsson Mare that not only is politically charged but serves as a call to arms for anyone, who wants to resist the cruel realties of racism, inequality, war and so on — while also serving as a primer on how to survive and thrive in our incredibly tense times. 

New Video: Introducing the Dark and Menacing Post Punk Sounds and Visuals of Paris’ SURE

SURE is a rather mysterious Paris-based post punk/dark wave act, who in an email described their sound as “dark songs to dance in caves.” Their murky and moody, debut single “Tasting Revenge” consists of a forcefully persistent kick drum, angular and propulsive bass lines,  slashing guitar chords fed through layers of distortion paired with vocals that are submerged within the mix and industrial clang and clatter.  And in some way, the French band’s sound manages to channel Joy Division and The Sisters of Mercy, as well as contemporaries like Chain of Flowers and Bambara, 

The recently released accompanying visuals for the song as the band notes may cause discomfort and seizures for those who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, as it features the members of the band in murky black and white with strobe lights flashing around them as they play in an empty room. 

Comprised of Trond Fagernes (vocals, guitar), Peter Gudim Marberg (bass), Håvard Haga (guitar), Bjørn Marius Kristiansen (touring drummer) and Ola J. Kyrkjeeide (studio drummer/live drummer), the Oslo, Norway-based indie rock band Mayflower Madame formed during the winter of 2010-2011. They started rehearsing in a desolate industrial building, where they shared the space with a carwash company. And amidst the lonely and gritty surroundings, the band quickly came upon an appropriately dark, post-punk sound, and then recorded a four song demo, which quickly won them national attention.  By August 2011, the Oslo-based indie rock band won the Unsigned Band of the Week on one of Norway’s biggest radio stations, which then lead to regular airplay on national radio — with the band spending 2012 building upon their growing profile with local and national touring, and writing material for their first official release.

In 2013, Mayflower Madame was selected to play a showcase featuring Scandinavia’s best, up-and-coming band at that year’s Norwegian Wood Festival, which was headlined by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and My Bloody Valentine and they continued a big year by releasing their debut EP Into the Haze, an effort that received attention across the blogosphere. In fact, adding to a growing profile, the Norwegian band opened for renowned neo-psych act Crystal Stilts — and they released an attention-grabbing video for EP title track “Into the Haze” that had been directed by Kenneth Karlstad and was inspired by Expressionist horror films.

In early 2015, the Norwegian indie rock band released “Lovesick” a single that was picked up by Custom Made Music and received Stateside radio airplay and praise from several publications including L.A. Record, who wrote that the single was “powerfully lysergic reverb rock” and The Work Magazine, who wrote that the single was a “loyal homage to the legends of the 60s and a heaping spoonful of UK drone-rock.” The members of the band spent the rest of ’15 writing and recording tracks for their full-length debut Observed in a Dream while touring and playing shows with Disappears, Moon Duo and La Femme — and along with that they toured outside of Scandinavia for the first time.

Mayflower Madame – Lovesick from Mayflower Madame on Vimeo.

The band’s full-length debut, Observed in a Dream was released last year through the band’s own label Night Cult Records throughout the European Union in April and through Custom Made Music throughout North America in June, and the album managed to caught the attention of several internationally known media outlets including Q Magazine, Drowned in SoundClash MagazineClassic Rock MagazineLouder Than WarGhettoblaster Magazine, as well as praise in their homeland. Adding to a growing profile, album singles “Lovesick” and “Weightless” received extensive airplay in the US, including several Top 20 and Top 5 rotations on college radio stations.

Mayflower Madame is currently on a North American tour, which includes a stop tonight at Philadelphia‘s Kung Fu Necktie — and you can check out the rest of the tour dates below; however, as they were about to go on tour, the band released a reverb-filled, moody, new single “Drown,” which interestingly enough will further cement their reputation for crafting 80s-inspired post-punk that sounds as though it draws from The Sisters of Mercy, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3 while subtly nodding at classic shoegaze and the 4AD Records sound.

TOUR DATES
4/2 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
4/3 – Diabolical Records – Salt Lake City, UT
4/4 – The Manor – Boise, ID
4/5 – Funhouse – Seattle, WA
4/6 – The Cobalt – Vancouver, BC
4/7 – Out From The Shadows Festival @ Tonic – Portland, OR
4/8 – Somos Gallery – Salinas, CA
4/9 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
4/10 – Complex – Los Angeles, CA
4/11 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA

Initially members of Swedish melodic punk/dark pop collective Vånna Inget, Karolina Engdahl (vocals/bass) and Tommy Tift (guitar) can trace their latest musical project, the Malmo, Sweden-based post-punk quartet True Moon to a mounting frustration with what they felt was an increasingly sanitized and homogeneous Scandinavian music scene. “Karolina and I are bored with the Swedish music scene at the moment,” Tift explains in press notes. “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. With the last Vånna Inget (2013’s critically acclaimed, Swedish Grammy-nominated Ingen Botten) we got more and more into dark wave and new wave, so we felt we wanted to explore than more.”

“We were listening to artists such as Joy Division, Killing Joke, Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and early Cure,” Tift notes. “There is a purity and honesty and integrity to that music that’s missing from the current scene. 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.” Once the duo settled on the band’s overall aesthetic, they recruited  Frederik Orevad (drums) and Linus Segerstedt (guitar) to complete the band’s lineup.
The Malmo, Sweden-based quartet’s self-titled full-length debut was recorded by producer Jari Haapalainen, known for his work with Ed Harcourt and The (International) Noise Conspiracy live to analog tape at Tift’s Studio Motion with the producer and band actively aiming for a raw, unpolished feel and sound reminiscent of Martin Hannet’s legendary work with Joy Division — and in a similar fashion to those legendary recordings, the members of True Moon recorded their debut album’s material in single takes, which gives the album’s material a forceful immediacy; in fact, Engdahl completed the vocals for the album in about 90 minutes.
Slated for an April 28, 2017 release through Lovely Records, the band and their label recently released the album’s first single “Sugar,” and while sonically speaking the song — to my ears, at least — sounds like what would happen if Siouxsie and the Banshees had covered Joy Division, complete with a roaring and rousingly anthemic hook, and an undeniably forceful, almost primal and explosive “you-were-there” immediacy that sets them apart from they countrymen and from their counterparts internationally.