Shameless Fascinations

Reflection, goodwill, chocolate eggs and a fresh bag of melodic goodness, that was at the heart of Easter. The latter unsurprisingly came courtesy of our friend Shauna, she of the mesmeric duo Ummagma and the mighty Shameless Promotion PR. Quickly we found that her new collection of suggestions to explore was united in adventure and fascination with this handful especially persuasive…

    With their sophomore album, Bright Black, due for release in June via Declared Goods, NYC-based post-punk / alternative rock collective LONDON PLANE have just unveiled a video/single for its closing track, Francesco (Italiano). It is an alternative version of their earlier single, a dark goth lit aspect to a song inspired by Padre Pio, an Italian Franciscan Capuchin, stigmatist, and mystic, also known as Saint Pius of Pietrelcina.

Also sparking the birth of the song is said to be the hospitalization of Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy on the eve of his NYC performance and there is a compelling hue of that band and its frontman within the track. It merges with a dancefloor fertility which orchestrated body and feet as virulently as that former essence employed the imagination.

London Plane itself is a sextet consisting of David Mosey (guitar and vocals), Jessica Cole (vocals), Bryan Garbe (drums), Grant Parker (bass), Julian Tulip (synths) and Kristofer Widholm (guitar) and a band which has already drawn keen plaudits through their debut full-length, the 2018 released New York Howl.

Francesco (Italiano) virtually teases ears initially, gathering its full fertility together before launching into an infection loaded stroll with a rhythmic nagging which alone proved irresistible. The post punk/gothic rock heart of the song is open in its eighties influence, especially that Bauhaus breeding as we said, yet swiftly it reveals the individuality and invention of London Plane to be one unique pleasure, enjoyment which only escalated by each passing second of the outstanding track which quickly and deeply got under the skin.

    Also with an album on the imminent horizon, PARABOLA WEST has just unveiled lead single/video, Hannah. The song is a haunting tempting for Stars Will Light the Way, a teaser resonating and radiating beauty with every transfixing second and bewitching atmospheric melody. 

Parabola West is the creative persona of New Zealand-based American singer/songwriter Amy Tucker West, an exploration of artistry which embraces inspirations from Celtic and Nordic folk within ambient and atmospherically  electronic soundscapes. Hannah is a gripping taste of Parabola West’s music and imagination and, one can only anticipate, of that highly anticipated April 29th released album.

From its first breath, the song shares an ethereal mist over a brooding rhythmic pulse as it explores “the thin veil between the physical and spiritual worlds” and instantly that narrow distinction is portrayed with almost diaphanous light. Yet there are shadows at play too, the alignment of a medieval hurdy-gurdy and Swedish folk instrument Nyckelharpa providing a richness of suggestion and drama but also weaving and working with a seductive drone for inescapable persuasion.

With Tucker West’s voice as mesmeric and pure beauty upon the senses, Hannah showed itself an enthralling and irresistible tempting.

    Even before a note was heard there was keen curiosity for the new single from alt-rock/metal duo OTHERED. The reason being that one half of the Oakland-based band is Emily Palen (a.k.a. KnightressM1) whose own projects, collaboration with other artists such as No Captains, and vocal/violin prowess has cast great temptation and pleasure the way of these ears over the past couple of years. Alongside her is Henry Austin Lannan, the pair meeting by chance through Specimen Box, Lannan’s collaborative music project with Larry Boothroyd (Jello Biafra and GSM, Victim’s Family, Triclops!).

Journey To The Edge is our introduction to and the lead single for the pairs’ first album, Othered Vol. 1 and a vehicle allowing Palen to concentrate on vocals and lyrical observation on a world in turmoil as Lannan stirs a tempestuous landscape of sound through guitar and bass, The single is an immediately imposing and attention grabbing proposal yet equally tantalisingly through Palen’s familiar and dextrous tones. There is certainly rawness and volatility to the track which works assuredly magnetically with the beauty of her voice and the melodic flames around her, a combination which enthralled and trespassed with increasing success by the listen; the menacingly jabbing rhythms of guest drummer Larry Boothroyd shaping the latter incursion.

With all its ingredients skilfully aligned, Journey To The Edge is a striking and promise bearing lead for yet another album we are eagerly looking forward to.

     Night is another debut single to contemplate, the song being the first from Stockholm-based project KAAPSTAAD. It is the solo electronic exploration of Tim Spelman who is also renowned for his band, the indie pop outfit Tiny Fighter and also post-rock project Fire To The Stars.

The track is a captivating atmospheric instrumental which was originally composed for a short film score which never came to light. Thankfully Spelman has given the song its own avenue for persuasion, it revealing itself an imagination stoking piece of sound and drama intimation which is calm and suggestive yet with hints of shadow  and drama.

From the thought bearing melody of the piano to the gently nagging and provocative electronic rhythms as well as its keys spun atmospheric embrace, Night is as haunting as it is infectious, almost poppy in that catchiness and evocative in every breath and texture.

An enthralling first look and listen to Kaapstaad, the captivation of Night has meant that we eagerly look forward to the release of its successor Aula in May. Pleasure and adventure has been no rarity with Tim Spelman and his solo project, even though only one song in, already looks like it will be no exception. 

    Lastly we return to LONDON PLANE and urge an eager listen to an earlier track in Watch That Madman Go. It is another encounter rich in the band’s richly emotive and gripping sound and the provocative incitement of their lyrical observation of a world toying with destruction.

The song brews a broad fusion of flavours within its goth/post punk saunter with jeopardy and drama courting word and sound. There is a hint of bands such as Shriekback, Clan Of Xymox and Tones On Tails to its dextrous proposal, shadows and light in an almost kaleidoscopic view against another rhythmic tempting so easy to embrace. Add the track we started with and also the outstanding title track of Bright Black which has also newly gripped ears as a teaser of a single, a song revealing more of the rich tapestry of flavours the band embrace in its slightly menacing but rapaciously captivating body and hope bearing catchiness, and quite simply, for us, release of the new London Plane album, scheduled for June 17th, cannot come soon enough.

Pete RingMaster 27/04/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Music

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