Skin & Sorrow (Aqualamb) is the second full-length release from Cleveland, Ohio’s “heavy, low and witchy” duo Frayle. The band consists of multi-instrumentalist Sean Bilovecky and singer Gwyn Strang, who between them cite the influence both doom metal (Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Sleep) and avant-garde pop (Björk, Portishead). Frayle’s stated aim is to create “music for the night sky”.
Returning from an extended self-imposed hiatus, My Ruin celebrated Valentine’s Day by releasing a new covers album Rock Love & Red Lipstick. Released as a free download on Bandcamp, the covers range from Black Flag, PJ Harvey, Eric B and Rakim, KISS, Plasmatics, Van Halen, AC/DC, Soft Cell, Frank Sinatra, and many more. My Ruin went on hiatus when it’s main conspirators Tairrie B (Manhole, Tura Satana), and Mick Murphy (Heavy Seventies, Chevy Metal, Teenage Timekillers) moved from Los Angeles to Nashville. My Ruin’s last release was 2012’s The Sacred Mood. Tairrie has been busy of late releasing her out of print albums with other bands to Bandcamp, writing her highly-anticipated memoirs, and pursuing future musical projects, photography and video directing. Watch the Tairrie directed video for their cover of ‘My Way’.
Four years ago, at Cult of Luna’s heralded Beyond The Redshift festival, I saw a band that went toe-to-toe with the headline acts and matched their beauty, elegance, and musical depth. Ten years into their career and with their fourth album Nowhere (Season of Mist) about to grace our ears, we find Esben And The Witch at their darkest.Continue reading →
The haunting Goddess that is Emma Ruth Rundle just doesn’t know when to stop. Since releasing an EP as a founder member of The Nocturnes in 2008, she has released a product every year with Post-Rockers Red Sparowes and under her own guises. Oft mentioned in glowing terms alongside such powerful performers as PJ Harvey, Tori Amos and Lana Del Rey, On Dark Horses (Sargent House) is the LA chanteuse’s fourth album under her own name, and is again filled with deep, shuddering emotion.Continue reading →
Cards on the table, pop isn’t my world, but something about the second K.Flay album Every Where Is Some Where (Night Street / Interscope) piqued the interest. It’s not your standard Ghost Cult fare by any stretch, but we’re up for chucking things your way from time to time that sit outside the realms we normally cover, cos, at the end of the day, good music is good music. And while K.Flay wouldn’t be picked up by my usual radar, I’m not disappointed it did hit my desk.Continue reading →
As we are coming up towards Hallowe’en, it seems appropriate that we should get some sort of haunting into our lives. The new album from Emma Ruth Rundle, erstwhile of Los Angeles noise merchants Marriages and latterly of solo artist of some renown, might just be the perfect accompaniment for the dark night of All Hallows’ Eve and then many more to come.Continue reading →
The west Yorkshire idyll of Hebden Bridge was on the news a few years ago, highlighted as the lesbian capital of the UK – an unexpectedly contemporary claim to fame for such a quaint, old fashioned town. For the area to produce such explosive, edgy, mournful, and downright fucking sexy folk-rock as this EP from local troubador Jayn Hanna Wissenberg, aka Darkher, is also something of a surprise.
Before The Kingdom Field (Self-released/Independent) arrived in my inbox, I checked some more stripped-down material on YouTube and subsequently asked myself, “Why the hell have we got this?” Within seconds of the breathy, siren-like beginning, I had my answer: the cello. Rasping, calling like a spectre from the sea, it slices through the prickling folk lilt, giving the haunting rhapsody an, albeit brief, violent edge which kicked this listener square in the bollocks. That’s aside, of course, from the eerily beautiful, heart-breaking melody of Wissenberg’s voice, and the sparing guitar slicing through the atmospherics like a primal roar in a desolate field. The judiciously introduced drums of opener ‘Ghost Tears’ accentuate the chilling tambourine with a fearful ease; the whole evoking one of the jerking undead coming for vengeance in a classic horror. Yeah, it’s that good.
The gently-picked acoustic of ‘Hung’ underpins the unbearable hurt in the mellifluous vocal before more cello strains take us to within an inch of sinister euphoria. It’s the ensuing ‘Foregone’ however, where the rock edge really explode with a resonant riff constantly threatening to blow yet always holding back, whilst the drums swell then recede to a seductive, heartfelt sway in a ‘Polly Jean Harvey goes all melodic doom’ style claustrophobia. Look, there is a strong argument as to whether this should really be here on Ghost Cult or not but, basically, this is Myrkur for the ‘Folkies; a haunting, beautiful, teeth-edging horror and it’s utterly brilliant.