Cinematic electronics, lush ambience and dark carnival aesthetics are where it’s at this week as Getintothis’ Mike Stanton once more beckons you into the shadows and shares another Unknown Pleasures.
An interesting collection of tracks for you this week that initially appear to be quite different and distinct but on closer listening share some similarities in mood, production and areas of expansive ambience. Certainly The Little Unsaid and Mark Peters and Elliot Ireland seem to exist in the same universe while Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show bridge the two nicely with some avant-folk stylings.
Oh yes, you are definitely in Unknown Pleasures country now, so grab your bag and step inside the dark house as we enter the realm of the underground kicking off with the sound of something delightfully wicked.
Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show will be releasing their forthcoming Roberta EP on October 28 and single Freakshow is the latest teaser for their ongoing horror-punk anti-folk saga about demonic possession, circuses and nuclear warfare. Dalton Deschain has combined the groove-based writing of Talking Heads with the dark horror show atmospherics of The Cramps to dazzling effect.
Sounding somewhere between cabaret punk act Dresden Dolls and Mardi Gras style gypsy fusion act The Urban Voodoo Machine, Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show combine theatrical performance with fantastical high-concepts.
The opening track and single Freakshow is an anthem of defiance with aggressive vocals shouted over distorted bass and a heavy dance beat. They weave complex sci-fi/ horror stories into ever-expanding sets of catchy and intricately composed songs, ranging from furious punk to beautiful spacey ballads.
The Little Unsaid is mainly multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter John Elliott and he draws inspiration from a long period of emotional turmoil and subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder. Voice, music and lyrics combine to produce something delicate and angst-ridden with a beam of hope cutting through the gloom.
Combining minimalist electronics, cinematic strings, hypnotic piano loops and John Elliott’s androgynous vocals, leading single Symptomatic sees The Little Unsaid refine their brand of folk-tronica and lavish orchestration. Elliott’s brooding poetic lyrics depict a person grieving the sudden return of their inner demons after convincing themselves they were ‘out of the woods.’
Elliott says, “It’s a melancholy tune, but as with all the songs on the album I’d like to think there’s always a flicker of hope in that darkness. In this case it’s the idea of letting someone in to accept and even love the side of yourself that still suffers from those old wounds, and the relief when that person doesn’t run away screaming.”
Symptomatic is self-released digitally on all major platforms on October 14.
Mark Peters (Engineers) and Elliot Ireland (Shaft) collaborated on an album of densely layered and atmospheric tracks last year called Deep Blue. It is an album of beautifully balanced and languidly paced songs and instrumentals that sits somewhere between ambient, dream pop and indie rock.
On October 7 they release Deep Blue Remixes, a collection of selected remixes and re-imaginings by some of the leading electronic and ambient producers around today. One such producer is Ulrich Schnauss who brings his distinctive electronic textures and shimmering soundscaping to the track Oar.
Oar is driven by a wonderful central piano and delicate guitar riff as reverb swirls and billows out to the twinkling horizon. Schnauss ups the pace of the original track and creates something that appears to glide under its own momentum. Melody is key and the hooks sweep and tumble with each turn. It’s all too easy to surrender to the enveloping fogged-out haze of ambience.