Uncertain times. It seems that darkness has distanced us from each other, and also somehow, still brings us together–at least with music. I have lately had an influx of requests for reviews. I understand why. With so many of us stuck at home, in quarantine, there is still art to be created and still even more to be discovered. Before all of this–this new reality that’s been forced upon us–musicians were busy pouring their hearts into their projects. Some of them, even as this world crumbles, are still finding ways to continue on with their musical passions as others, unfortunately, struggle. I have seen a massive increase in track releases since the quarantine began. I’m guilty of it myself (Insert shameless plug here – Gothic Candy by Death Loves Veronica).
The efforts of newly created tracks have been well received, but let’s not forget some of the efforts released just before all of this hit. None of that should be lost, and more releases are to come. Since I’m taking a break from the studio today, I thought I’d get to reviewing some of the artists who’ve contacted me. In turn, hopefully, you’ll find something new to feast your ears upon.
I’ll begin with Clovvder.
I received a link to one of their tracks via my contact page and was blown away. It’s a cover of a King Dude song entitled, “My Mother Was the Moon.” Their take on it is wispy, enchanting, and just plain beautiful. I loved the use of air and heavy reverb in the effects. Clovvder is from Uruguay. You must check it out for yourself here: https://clovvder.bandcamp.com/track/my-mother-was-the-moon
They wrote to me, “Life is sad, life is heartbreaking, capricious, chaotic, beautiful.
My Mother Was The Moon is one of our favorite King Dude’s songs.”
I’m sold. I love it, and I plan to listen to more of their works in the upcoming days. In fact, I just bought this track.
Track info: Recorded live at Sala Camacuá in Montevideo, 9/19/19.
Live recording: Matías Rodríguez.
Mastered by Nacho Adda.
Album art by Tanky.
Lefki Symphonia released their 5th album, San ton ilio/Like the Sun, on March 27th and I have to say, it is really good. Since I wrote a bit about them before the album’s release, you can read about the band’s history and the interview I did here: https://darkwavepublications.com/2020/01/27/lefki-symphonia/
You can check out one of my favorite tracks from the album here:
I love the feeling this song gives out. The vocals are deeply intimate, the music perfectly entrancing. This is one of those tracks that sticks with you, still echoing around inside your head even after it’s finished playing. After you play it, you have to hear it again. The way the instruments are played, the mixing work, the timing … it’s all superb.
Let’s talk about Zaiden:
From Austin, TX, Zaiden is definitely not what I expected. And that’s good. I mean, I don’t know what my ears usually expect from dark wave in general (as we should all have our own stylistic interpretation)–and something a little different is sometimes good. In this case, it’s great. It’s fun, and as this project was described to me, Zaiden would like for us to feel as if in a fictional world while listening to his music. That’s probably something a lot of us need right now. I get a Talking Heads feeling from this, maybe even a hint of some 1980s Peter Gabriel, in a way. I don’t really know how to describe it, and that’s why I want you to take a listen. It’s deliciously unique and trippy af.
Zaiden’s website and info is here: https://www.zaidenmusic.com/
Next up is Smokin’ Sam Babin.
The second I started listening to this, I was reminded (in a good way) of the Angry Samoans, but like, if they got into a pit with Screeching Weasel and beat each other up. I mean, they would make up and be friends after (I think … maybe), so it’s cool. Anyway, this was a fun listen and it took me back to some things I loved about spending some of my teen years in the punk scene. On this particular album, I like the feel of “Ghost of a Cowgirl.” On this album, this is the type of track that could be the hidden gem. Perhaps because of it’s dark, sludgy feel. I was drawn to the album initially with the track, “Hey, Assholes.” And not because of the title itself and proper use of a comma, but because of the way it was recorded. That retro-tape-deck feel really comes through on this. And on “Ghost of a Cowgirl,” that feeling really works. Give it a listen. Especially my old-school punk friends out there. This will take you back.
There’s other albums to check out on his Bandcamp page, but this one drew me in for the review.
You’re A Hero, D.B. Cooper: released March 23, 2019
All Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Percussion, and Drum Programming by Smokin’ Sam Babin.
Article of reviews by Veronica Campbell. Veronica is also singer/songwriter of Death Loves Veronica.
Originally published April, 13, 2020 in quarantine.