Tag Archives: new music

New Music: Synthetic ID, Ciphers

Synthetic ID, “Ciphers” (Castle Face Records)

Synthetic ID are a band out of San Francisco, who have been releasing music since 2012, but are new to us.  Don’t know how we’ve missed them up ’til now.

“Ciphers” is a brilliant piece of spiky, funky post-punk, in the vein of Gang of Four and 154-era Wire, with a soupçon of Crass.  The track features a lurching, hypnotic bassline and angst-inducing guitar stabs; shouted vocals talk of searches and receipt of ciphers with “missing words”, incapable of translation and decoding – messages received but not trusted.  The peculiarly modern sensation of interconnectedness increasing isolation on our Big (Brother) Blue Marble – who’s real and what isn’t?  Fever dreams of electric sheep.

Synthetic ID’s debut, Impulses, is out April 22 on the consistently bodacious Castle Face Records. Check out the band’s earlier releases on their bandcamp page.

New Music: No Joy, Everything New; Moon In My Mouth

No Joy, “Moon In My Mouth”; “Everything New” (Mexican Summer)

Montreal-based No Joy return with a track from the forthcoming long player, More Faithful.

Emerging from the bristled haze of their first two albums, these new tracks take a lighter touch.  The band’s debut, Ghost Blonde, was mixed by Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes, and No Joy seem to be following a similar musical trajectory; with each release, layers of feedback and reverb squall have been scraped and peeled away like so much wallpaper, revealing a lighter, pop core beneath. Granted, this version of “pop” retains the narcotic swirl and sway of shoe gaze (think Lush, Pale Saints), dream pop, later period Cocteau Twins, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Disintegration-era The Cure, etc.

“Everything” is the more straight forward of the two, a hypnotic combination of looping drums and chiming guitar; vocalists Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd caress their lines.  “Moon” features similarly ethereal vocals, this time juxtaposed against a counter tempo that makes the track list uneasily without, somehow, losing direction entirely; a languid guitar refrain holds things together.

When posting “Moon” on their Facebook page, the band said “it is not happy, it is not sad but what is it?” leaving the answer to the listener.  The question could easily be applied to both songs – each has a greyscale, melancholic quality, but is it a wistful look back upon past experience, or one tinged with regret?  As with many things, both seem apt.

More Faithful is due June 9, on Mexican Summer (US) and Arts & Crafts (Canada) – a link to a video teaser for the entire album is below.  No Joy is also on tour, starting in May – dates here.