If ears could grin ours would be in a perpetual beam each and every time that Canadian songstress and one half of imagination seducers Ummagma, Shauna McLarnon strolls the pathway to our door. Within her Shameless Promotion PR bag she continues to surprise and tempt ears with a fresh collection of tracks she has come across and her latest visit was no different. Her new selection was a mix of the haunting and rousing, a host of tracks which grabbed curiosity by the lapels and took it on an eye-opening and ear-igniting adventure with those below heading the rewards…
Setting the tone for haunting captivation is the new single from Canadian outfit, THE EMBER GLOWS. With a dark melancholy in its heart and hinting tempestuousness in its breath, Silent Love is a track which calls on inner intimacy from within its own shadows; a slice of sonic contemplation from and for the darkness in the world.
THE EMBER GLOWS is a Montreal based quartet which formed in 2019 bringing history and experiences of bands such as ROOM CONTROL, REPO, SCENE NOIR and CITYLAKE across its members, into their new project. Musically it is a fusion of dark indie rock and post punk with gothic rock inclinations; a proposal which openly embraces eighties/nineties inspirations. Silent Love itself unashamedly bears the influence of bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen and early U2 but through the band’s own character and voice.
Exploring “steadfast love, the fragility of life and the power of silence”, Silent Love strolls in with a lively gait, a supportive rhythmic energy which is soon surround by the melodic musings of guitars. Still that keen strength and vitality endures as vocalist Martin Saint shares rumination on loss and support, his and Richard Bunze’s guitars weaving an almost kaleidoscopic web of jangling sound and sonic intimation as the rhythms of drummer Dan Stefik continue to incite.
With darker edge and tension coming through the great steely basslines of Kevin Hills, Silent Love which can be found on the foursome’s Bandcamp page, proved compelling and with greater prowess by the listen.
Equally haunting in its own right is the track Until We Meet Again, a single from the upcoming album Exaudia from DEAD CAN DANCE vocalist LISA GERRARD and composer MARCELLO DE FRANCISCI. The track is a rapture of evocative beauty and mesmeric emotion, a captivation of the senses and imagination which has lured rather keen anticipation of that larger adventure right here.
Having met many years ago through their soundtrack work, Gerrard and De Francisci have subsequently collaborated on soundtrack scores and released in 2010 debut album Departum. Its August 26th Atlantic Curve released successor sees the pair unite once more and on the suggestion of Until We Meet Again alone for an exploration like few others within Exaudia.
The lead track rises up out of silence like a wondrous landscape surprises from unsuspecting scenery, its wonder evoking a subdued countenance but with awe in its breath. The deeper you go into the majestic surprise the greater the wonder and so it is with Until We Meet Again. The track rises up around the senses and imagination with epic grandeur and bewitching beauty, Gerrard’s irresistible tones and De Francisci’s evocative melodic intimation its heart.
There is also an edge of tension to the piece which added to the storytelling in our imagination and the captivation we bred with increasing desire.
Also with a new album poised to be unveiled, What Do Whales Dream About at Night? due September 23rd, folk-rock artist JESSIE KILGUSS presents potent temptation its way with lead single Great White Shark. It is a song which aligns drama, tension, and intimacy with melodic beauty and in doing so had the imagination dangling on its hook.
NYC-based, Kilguss is a former actress who has worked alongside the likes of Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder and in productions for directors such as Sir Peter Hall. Her music career was sparked from working with Marianne Faithfull in The Black Rider, a musical written by Tom Waits and William Burroughs. Since then she has released four albums, each well-received and flourishing in her adept nature and imagination with word and sound, a trait surely pushed again if Great White Shark is a sign.
The single gently steps forward, guitars and keys caressing Kilguss’s rich tones and rumination. The drama and observation of her lyrics soon align to intimacy, emotion and contemplation of a relationship finding an echo in the sea and its suggestive perils. It is a clever and captivating fusion which the song’s melodic enterprise echoes; there is even a slight nagging to certain elements within it which hints at the cinematic manipulation of that legendary musical harassment of Jaws.
Also featuring Brian Griffin, Naren Rauch, and Whynot Jansveld, Great White Shark had us smiling, beguiled and stoking up anticipation for the larger shiver of similar exponents to come.
It is barely a few weeks that REE-VO stoked the fires of eager want to explore their debut album, All Welcome on Planet Ree-Vo, with the single Spacebox and its accompanying re-mixes and the UK duo are doing the deed once again with the track Combat.
The Bristol electro-dub project of Andy Spaceland (AKA Andy Jenks) and T. Relly has been greedily stirring up attention and plaudits through their tracks and following remixes which has seen the likes of NØISE, OBJECT OBJECT, DÄLEK and THE BUG involved. Now With the July 29th release of their album via Dell’Orso Records/ SRD almost upon us, Combat keenly adds to the urging of its exploration.
The track is a senses nagging slice of the band’s electro dub bred sound yet as other songs reveals its diversity as EBM and hip hop essences toy with the imagination. The song is predatory in many ways, its intent and tension single minded even as its enterprise dances with ears and limbs, the duo’s vocals equally presenting animated incitement.
Relative to predecessors, Combat is a low key incitement but a just as potent one as too the Surgeon Remix which accompanies it in sound and video. This version brings the inherent and almost untamed energy of the original forward, its movement lined with psychosis and tension pugilistic for another engrossing and richly enjoyable encounter again provoking greater curiosity the way of Planet Ree-Vo and an album which we can already tell you has had its surface and adventure scratched but barely revealed by these ear gripping lead songs.
Pete RingMaster 21/07/2022
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