Posts Tagged ‘Dark Pop’

Ahead of the release of their new album, Fascination, released 18th February 2022 on Metropolis Records, The Birthday Massacre have unveiled ‘Dreams of You’.

Listen to ‘Dreams of You’ here:

A Canadian darkwave ensemble who incorporate elements of electronica, goth and new wave into their lush and atmospheric dark pop sound, The Birthday Massacre have enjoyed success over the last decade with albums such as ‘Hide And Seek’ (2012) and ‘Under Your Spell’ (2017), both of which charted at home and abroad. The early spring of 2020 then saw the release of the brooding and mystical ‘Diamonds’, just as the onset of the global pandemic curtailed extensive touring plans to promote it.

The group has released a brand new single entitled ‘Dreams Of You’ today as an opening taster from their upcoming ninth album, ‘Fascination’, which is out on 18th February 2022. Expansive sounding yet intimate feeling, TBM’s signature blend of captivating electronics, aggressive guitars, cinematic melodies and beautifully bewitching vocals are on full display, while the album shows that the magical world they have created with their music has grown ever more captivating.

The Birthday Massacre commence a 30 date US tour the week after album release, with a similarly extensive set of dates in the UK and mainland Europe to follow later in 2022.

The Birthday Massacre formed in 2000 in Ontario and were originally known as Imagica, their name taken from the title of a novel by Clive Barker. Having relocated to Toronto, they renamed themselves The Birthday Massacre just before the release of their debut album, ‘Nothing & Nowhere’, in the summer of 2002. The ‘Violet’ EP was issued in 2004 and then made available in expanded form as a full album via Metropolis Records, a label with whom the group have remained ever since.

The next two TBM albums, ‘Walking with Strangers’ (2007) and ‘Pins and Needles’ (2010), plus the EP ‘Imaginary Monsters’ EP (2011), were followed by 2012’s ‘Hide and Seek’, which enjoyed a warm critical reception and a measure of chart success. The group turned to their fans to help crowdfund their sixth album, ‘Superstition’, which appeared in late 2014 and was supported by major tours in North America, the UK, mainland Europe and Brazil.

A compilation of early four-track demos entitled ‘Imagica’ (2016) preceded ‘Under Your Spell’, released in 2017 and which made a strong showing on multiple US charts. Three years later, the band celebrated their 20th anniversary with ‘Diamonds’, its release seeing new drummer Phillip Elliot and bassist Brett ‘Bat’ Carruthers join the band’s ranks. The latter is also the frontman of alternative rock band A Primitive Evolution.

2404a3cc6255e036d4779a41b476f4484d2dd75c

Finalists in Belgian’s magazine Humo’s Rock Rally 2016 and winners of broadcaster Studio Brussel’s ‘De Nieuwe Lichting’ 2018, their packed festival summer and completely sold out club tour took them all over Belgium in 2018. Portland creates dreamy, everlasting storytelling songs.

The band’s debut single ‘Pouring Rain’ gained more than a million streams on Spotify, under their own management. Their subtle rework (upon request of Studio Brussel) of alt-J’s ‘Matilda’ gained popularity faster than expected and was released as a successful second single.

Their rise in popularity didn’t go unnoticed and last summer Portland proudly teamed up with [PIAS]. The first result of this partnership was ‘Lucky Clover’, an emotional, dreamy and subtle piece of harmonic prose, whose greatest strength is the harmonies and interaction between front duo Jente Pironet and Sarah Pepels. The single got picked up on radio in Flanders, club shows sold out quickly and an invitation to play this year’s Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop festivals followed.

Gearing up to release their debut full length album after the summer, Portland now proudly presents their new single ‘Expectations’. An epic and cathartic love song using lush strings, chimes, timpani, electronics and electric guitars to counter Jente and Sarah’s remarkable voices. “‘Expectations’ is about high hopes, deep disappointments and very abstract interactions between attractions, rejections, doubts and certainties,” Jente explains. It’s a bold move and a step up from their previous output, still retaining the same otherworldly, dreamlike quality.

Watch the video here:

AA

Portland

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s nothing shameful about pop music per se, and there’s no two ways about it: a good hook is a good hook, and however much you – or I – might adore obscure noisy shit of the most punishing velocity, there’s no substitute for a killer chorus, well-delivered. So, enter Chess Smith. She looks the part, and sound it, too.

So how’s ‘Queen of the High Held Head Walk’ for a tongue-twister of a song-title? It’s the first we’ve heard of Chess Smith here at Aural Aggro but hopefully, it won’t be the last. A sharp-edged, dark-pop tune, it’s the lead track from her six-track EP of the same title, and melds a heavily chorused / flange-treated Curesque bassline to a hard-edged 80s disco beat. Smith’s vocal is strong without being shrill, as she delivers a powerful message of self-affirmation.

The other tracks are far from weak, showcasing a pop talent with a heavy 80s influence, benefiting from 21st century production values. The seething dark electro of ‘Pinocchio’ offers up an undulating rhythmic force, and as a whole, this EP shows more than a little promise: there’s a confidence and coolness about Smith’s presentation which suggests she’s got big prospects.

 

 

Chess Smith - Queen