In preparation for Veronica Vasicka coming to Vancouver for a DJ gig, I’ve been listening a lot to one of my favourite Minimal Wave compilations, The Hidden Tapes. One track in particular that’s been haunting me has been You Don’t Know My Name by a mysterious artist named Kym Amps.
I’ve tried to do some research on Kym Amps to see if I could find out more info about her, and see if she has any other releases. The always awesome Systems of Romance posted the one single that she definitely released, which you can find here. However, trying to find info on her background and any other releases has been a bit tricky. As for minimal wave songs, that single seems to be all she ever released. However, there also appears to be a soprano vocalist with the same name. I’ve listened to a couple of her songs, and while the non-coldwave songs have a much more polished vocal style (not to mention higher notes), I feel like I can hear a similarity. Her photo from the above biography page and the photo on the cover of the minimal wave single also have some interesting similarities.
If you happen to know any info about Kym Amps feel free to let me know – is she now happy and thriving in a soprano career? Does she still fondly listen to synthy beep boops and dream of releasing some new material in that vein? I’d love to hear what she’s up to these days. Until then, I’ll give You Don’t Know My Name a listen every so often and enjoy the melancholic charm.
Edit: A commenter kindly pointed out that there are two other Kym songs available for purchase on iTunes and streamable on Spotify: I Must Have Been Seeing Things and Days Like These. Her voice is really heavenly and I’ve been loving them!
Figure Study is a minimal synth band based in NYC. According to the description of their self-titled LP on Dark Entries, members Nathan Antolik and April Chalpara met at a Wierd Party event in 2009 and began collaborating soon after. Their music evokes a sense of gloomy foreboding while still remaining very danceable. Loneliness and distance tinge each song, but the soundscape somehow leaves the listener feeling energized instead of desolate. This is an album I’d love to listen to while walking the streets of a city I’ve never been to before, at night.
In addition to their debut LP, Figure Study also has one single available. ‘Lesson One’ was my introduction to this great band, and remains one of my favourites. You can listen to Figure Study by buying their music from Dark Entries, visiting their Soundcloud, or streaming on Spotify or Rdio.
After hearing a couple of tracks from Ghost Twin’s debut album last month, I was really excited to hear the rest of their material . Today is the official release of Here We Are In The Night, and I’m having a mini dance party to celebrate!
The opening track ‘Chymical Wedding’ is spooky synthpop at its best. Beautifully bleak lyrics give this song a really melancholy feel. Karen’s powerful vocals are in the spotlight here, perfectly conveying a feeling of yearning and loss.
‘Mystic Sabbath’ is the ultimate song choice if you need an anthem for your upcoming witches’ gathering. It’s also a prime example of fantastic dark synthpop. My boyfriend walked by as I was playing this song and said, “This is fun! Is it new Ashbury Heights?” I can definitely hear elements in ‘Mystic Sabbath’ that are also present in AH and other great synth-based bands that I love. And I love the contrast between Karen and Jaimz’s voices here!
The title track of this album sounds sorrowful, yet seductive. I especially enjoy the variety of haunting beep boops in this song! I’ve been finding myself humming the chorus all day, and consider this another of my favourites from the album.
‘The Vulture’ is a more downtempo song that showcases Jaimz’s powerful, gravelly vocals. In my mind, this is the song you put on when you spot that special someone across the room and must make them yours.
The second half of the album is comprised of remixes. Truth be told, I can be a little iffy on remixes, but these are well done. My favourite is the ‘We Are The Night (vvinter rainbovv remix)’. It incorporates some fun witchouse vibes, complete with lots of spooky wooooos.
All in all, I really recommend taking a listen to this release! It’s all up on Ghost Twin’s Bandcamp page now, and if you like what you hear there’s a few different options for purchasing the album. You can buy the digital download only, the CD, or a VHS of the first four tracks synced to their analog visuals. I heard a rumour that there might be a fun easter egg on there for Goths! fans, and their live visuals sound like they’re quite something, so that’s the option I chose to scoop up. Happy listening!