Mood music for the winter months…
As Winter approaches, the perfect opportunity to revisit old friends and find tunes that suit the occasion. The haunting darkpop delights of Promenade Cinema here rub shoulders with shoegaze veterans Slowdive and the Queen of Moth-Pop Kat Bryan…
PROMENADE CINEMA – Alone at Parties
Promenade Cinema rarely disappoint and this follow-up to their Dark Designs EP (released earlier this year) showcases the darkpop duo at their strengths.
The song breathes with a brooding energy that sparkles with its airy synth melodies. Meanwhile, Emma Barson’s cathartic vocals lend a voice to all those people who have found themselves lost at parties (“In a room full of strangers, without a sign of a friend”). It’s an instantly catchy number and also a perfect rallying anthem for outsiders.
SLOWDIVE – alife
While Slowdive might not be your typical electronic band of choice, it’s worth noting that their 1995 album Pygmalion took a sharp left-turn from their shoegaze territory to play around with minimalist electronica. Since their self-titled 2017 return, Slowdive have demonstrated that they’re a band capable of surprises. Their music still captures that ethereal quality of their classic period, yet also manages to sound fresh and contemporary at the same time.
New track ‘alife’ throws a nod to Pygmalion albeit with a more breezy, rythmic sensibility. It also presents something of a nod to their Mojave 3 days with a gritty quality to their lyrical narratives (“Time has got me somehow”).
KAT BRYAN – Armour
The goth-pop musings of Kat Bryan served up the excellent 2022 debut Music For The End Of The World in which the TEC review suggested that it invited “the listener to expand their musical boundaries” with its darker, more soulful electronic explorations. ‘Armour’ is a lead-on from that debut and is taken from Bryan’s new EP Luna.
Describing the track, Bryan suggests that ‘Armour’ is an “anthem for reclaiming your life” typified by its percussive elements with some tactile electronic melodies dotted around the edges. Lines such as “It’s not armour I’m wearing now/It’s a cage” are quite revealing and shows Bryan again dabbling in themes of reflection and doubt, yet always with the sense of moving beyond those themes to positions of strength.