photo via Samantha’s Instagram: @samanthamacabre
Here’s what Haute Macabre has been listening to lately
While I thought I was predisposed to love anything that these purveyors of bluesy, southern sludge and darkness throw at me, I’m still not 100% sold on 2017’s Wick yet. Mlny Parsonz’ impassioned voice still howls with harrowing desperation and spitting intensity, but the majority of the album just feels moody and muddled to me. However, the one song I find myself returning to, over and over again, is “April Showers”; Parsonz’ gritty, mournful wail echoes a painful rhythm in my own heart and with every listen I feel a sort of ecstatic shattering in my very marrow.
I first heard Karen Elson seven years ago, with her Ghost Who Walks EP, which I believe her husband at that time (Jack White) had a heavy hand in. And it was indeed a very much Jack White-sounding affair. Sort of a dark country, murder ballad-y thing. On her shimmering new offering of floaty folk and baroque pop elegance, I wonder if she sounds a little bit more how she wants to sound? Vocals, powdery and gentle, wrapped in fluttery harp notes and swirling strings, sing of heartbreak and burning bridges and all manner of melancholy business, but it’s all just so pretty, you don’t feel as if you’ve listened in on some dreary and forlorn confessional.
I’m stealing Sonya’s idea from last month and adding a podcast to my list (because it’s a great idea and dammit, I wish I’d thought of it first.) It took me a long, looooong time to get on board with the idea of podcasts, and Bad Books For Bad People, hosted by Tenebrous Kate and Jack Guignol, is the first one I actually listened to. Basically a virtual book club for the bizarre and perverse, Kate & Jack thoughtfully and hilariously cover the cover the weirdest, kinkiest, and most outrageous fiction they can unearth. Let me quote for you a description of the book they discussed for Episode One, Bleak Warrior: “…as if SoulCalibur were a porno directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky” OR “as if you got your weirdest friend drunk on cheap tequila and asked them to describe what He-Man would be like if it were dirty and a bit Shakespearean.” How can you resist that delicious craziness? I don’t think you necessarily have to listen to them in order (though, you should, at some point, listen to all of them), but if you are looking to dip your toe in, might I suggest you start with Episode Three: My Sweet Audrina and Episode Four: R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps.
I have our very own S. Elizabeth to thank for suggesting I check out Noveller, aka Sarah Lipstate, and I’m so very glad I did. Also, seeing as A Pink Sunset For No One is Noveller’s eighth album, I’m delighted to now have her extensive back catalogue to explore. More melancholy and ethereal cinematic soundscapes? Yes, please! I love beautiful vocals and poetic lyrics, but my head is already a noisy place, so sometimes I simply want lush, hypnotic instrumentals that stoke and soothe, with maybe just the barest shimmering echoes of a spectral voice from time to time. Track 5, “Trails and Trials”, is my favorite, with its juxtaposition of delicate, soaring highs and moody lows, and an almost too abrupt ending that leaves me pining for more. In addition to being an incredibly skilled electric guitarist and composer, Lipstate is also a filmmaker, which I suspect must play a role in her ability to compose such uncannily atmospheric music. Noveller makes me think about how Neil Young composed the score to Jim Jarmusch’s wonderful film Dead Man by improvising as he watched the movie. As far as I know, A Pink Sunset For No One is purely an album, but listening to it makes me want to watch the otherworldly film it complements. Track 7, “Corridors”, is now the theme music for one of my own ghosts. I know that much.
Sam is still on a never ending repeat of The Smiths, but did listen to Live Through This super loud once last week. Don’t send help.
What’s been in your ears lately?