Belgrado – Siglo XXI

 

The first time I saw Belgrado, they were opening for The Bellicose Minds in Vancouver. I was blown away by their frantic energy, and their songs have a classic dark post punk vibe that carries a lot of power. While the show at the official venue was fantastic, the house show they played the next night unleashed a chaotic energy that I’ll fondly remember for years to come. They managed to get through most of their set before the party was shut down by the cops. If you ever have the chance to see Belgrado perform live, please don’t miss it!

 

Belgrado is from Italy, so there aren’t normally a ton of chances for us North Americans to catch them. But they’ll be playing here again this August, and the only concrete date I know is August 25th at the Star Theatre in Portland (they’ll be playing with Cemetery, Soft Kill, Body of Light, Spectres, and Clan of Xymox!)

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Double Echo – La Danza

Double Echo, that fantastic dark post-punk band from Liverpool, is back with another full-length release. Gloomy bass and guitars pair with vocals that feel straight out of the 80s goth scene to create some spookily delicious soundscapes. La Danza feels like a culmination of the best of their frosty sounds all on one album. Definitely recommend hearing this release, makes for perfect autumn listening! You can find their album at their Bandcamp or on Spotify.

Shadow Age – Silaluk

If you’re a fan of gloomy post-punk, Shadow Age is definitely a band to add to your library. Cold, melodic, drum beats that will squeeze your heart – this is music that hits all the right buttons. Hailing from Richmond, VA, Shadow Age is currently on tour. While they’re not making it to Vancouver this time, my fingers are crossed that I’ll get to see them perform someday!

Check Shadow Age out on Facebook, or support them on Bandcamp if you like what you hear.

Ghost Twin – Here We Are In The Night

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!

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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.

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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!

Ghost Twin

Are you ready for some gothik synthpop from Winnipeg? I know you’re intrigued. Karen and Jaimz Asmundson have started a fun dark electronic project called Ghost Twin. I’m loving both of their vocals and, as with most of the music I enjoy, the synth goodness. Right now you can hear the first couple of tracks from their upcoming release on their Bandcamp page, and I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the rest in April!

On a different, but tangentially related note – I’ve been rooting for these two to get together ever since Jaimz was sobbing about the disturbing lack of black lipstick and Karen was a hot dead goth girl. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please watch Goths! On The Bus! asap.

Kokushoku Elegy

I’ve recently started focusing on freelance Japanese-English translation as a career. I love it – I get to work from home next to my cats and dog, go by my own schedule, and listen to whatever music I like. However, one thing I’ve begun to notice is that some music can be distracting in my more focused moments. When my brain is working through some tricky Japanese grammar, suddenly tuning in to an awesome French song and subconsciously trying to figure out what the lyrics mean doesn’t help my concentration much. I lived in Kyoto for part of my high school and university career, and though I managed to listen to a bit of Japanese language goth rock (Malice Mizer circa Gackt, the depth of my love for you can never truly be conveyed), I mostly filled my ears with J-pop as that’s what my friends were listening to.

Now that I’m looking for some fun Japanese music to listen to while working, I’m getting the chance to discover fantastic bands I’d never heard of before. One of those is Kokushoku Elegy, a female fronted 80s goth/post-punk band.

Seriously great tunes – check out some of their songs on YouTube if you like the classic dark post-punk sound of the 80s. Unfortunately as they’re a bit older I don’t have many leads for obtaining their music directly, but there are some decently priced copies of their albums on Discogs here.

Any other post-punk, synthy, or goth Japanese bands that I should be checking out? Please leave me a comment 🙂

Frank (Just Frank)

It’s a few years old, but I can’t get enough of Frank (Just Frank)’s album The Brutal Wave. Synthpop, post-punk, and coldwave combine to create a fantastic aural landscape that has been making me hit the Repeat button quite a bit these past few days. ‘Beneath’ in particular is steadily earworming its way into my dreams, and I have no complaints.

With a touch of dark 80s inspired synth and vocals, The Brutal Wave is climbing my personal favourites chart. Coming in a close second, their Valerie EP has some great songs as well, including the fantastic dance tune ‘Do The Soviet’.

More band info: Facebook