Here’s what Haute Macabre writers have been listening to recently!
I’m fairly certain Amalie Bruun, performing as Myrkur, is supposed to fall under the black metal umbrella (despite how much the angry bro metal guys might whine about this classification, and apparently they do a lot )…and while I like the idea of black metal in theory, in practice I find it dreadfully hard to listen to. But Myrkur’s sound is as listenable as it gets for me, and hits all of my sweet spots: swirling, spectral vocals, medieval-tinged folky arrangements ( with the occasional harsher, feral and shrieking black metal elements, I guess) and an overall eerie vibe. The album’s pace and style is a little weird, and kind of all over the place. Sometimes it’s funereal, sometimes it’s a maelstrom and sometimes it’s even a little gauzy, stoned Lana del Rey. But even on that point, I’m a big Lana fan, so I’m not complaining.
Favorite track: “Crown”.
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun
Is there anyone I know who hasn’t been eagerly anticipating this release for the past six months or so? I know I’ve been on tenterhooks, devouring each new single as they’ve slowly been released. But finally it is here… that starkly gorgeous cover; Chelsea costumed in a hair gown designed by Ashley Rose, and both the dress and the musician, stunningly photographed by Bill Crisafi. The album itself: fluctuating between sludgy, swarming darkness, bombastic melodrama and quiet moments of fragile, acoustic tenderness and intimacy, Hiss Spun is as brooding and heavy as you’d expect, but there’s a passion, aggression, intensity, and …immersiveness present on this album that, for me at least, did not exist before on her previous offerings. Chelsea Wolfe has created a transportive sonic dreamworld, dense and wild, for which listeners to submerge themselves in–and transformative as well, for, once emerging from her thrall, how could you not be touched by it, and changed in some small way? Favorite track: “Particle Flux”.
Spire Circle, The Knife Edge House
As some of you know, my partner and now fiance, Gregg Alexander Joseph Neville, is a musician. His main project the last few years has been etherpop duo Golden Gardens, along with crystal witch and perfumer Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble, but lately he has been working on some solo projects. One of these is Spire Circle, an ethereal take on goth-rock with metal elements. Spire Circle’s first EP, The Knife Edge House, came out recently and is currently available as both a digital version and as a limited-edition CD. If you like spooky songs with titles like “Rosary” and “Meat, Shoveled Into A Grave” as well as supporting independent artists, check it out.
A Place Both Wonderful And Strange
“Dark, Lynchian electronic noise pop performance art inspired in equal parts by noir and Janet Jackson,” A Place Both Wonderful And Strange is made up of Russ Marshalek, Shanda Woods, Laura Hajek. Russ and Shanda are both part of New Jack Witch, which is how I first heard about the band, and the music is exactly as moody and intense as you’d expect given its pedigree. Perfect for listening to while driving on long, winding roads in the dark, sipping cordial as the TV plays nothing but static for hours, or waiting for the stars to do your bidding. A Place Both Wonderful And Strange recently did a tour that avoided Seattle entirely (rude) and still have two upcoming dates, both in NY. Go see them.
What’s been in your ears?