I have to admit I’ve succumbed utterly to the allure of the latest wave of music so heavily inspired by the most formative genres of my youth in the early eighties. This is about Post Punk, Coldwave, Darkwave, Synthwave, Goth. Folks like Cold Cave, Von Haze, Chelsea Wolfe, Les Modules Etranges (and their various spinoffs) and a host of others I’m still uncovering.
That’s the most enjoyable part, really. Discovering the new and mysterious all over again. You can almost remember the feeling of bringing home that 12″ ep from the record store with it’s stark, minimalist black and white cover. Perfect design and lettering. Music and words that went well with your black leather jacket and sullen outlook.
The inspiration for this wave of newcomers comes from those very days and the enigmatically shrouded sounds and styles that defined it for so many of us with that sort of bent. Joy Division, first and foremost. Early Cure. Belgian Coldwave like Isolation Ward. Nagamatzu. Mass and other dawn of 4AD bands. Countless others.
Folks remember those days well. Take Tropic of Cancer, pictured above and sampled below, have done a fantastic job of harvesting those sounds and molding them into something just as darkly seductive as you remember. They even like to release their stuff on 12″ ep’s, a wondrously deliberate indicator that they appreciate the history. They understand their audience. They know what we love. They’ve had me hooked since The Dull Age.
As I say, I have succumbed. And though I know I can never really return to that time or totally recapture that feeling, I’m very willing to try and absorb what’s coming along now as much as I can. Delve into the underground and seek out the sounds and the art. The darker the better.
Someone hand me This Mortal Coil’s “Gathering Dust“ ep. I need to give it a spin.