I have finally been graced with a release that has more organic tones than I’m used to, that being, the human voice. All the same, FridaΨ has many inventive and imaginative ideas that prosper, subjected within an EP released back in November last year. As her Bandcamp bio suggests, "We need to go deeper". Allow me to take the opportunity to do so.
We are formally greeted with the EP's opener, Sthorm. If there's one thing that is very reminiscent of FridaΨ's voice, it's Chelsea Wolfe. The fluidity of her cadences and vocal inflexions run like a clear river across brooding and enveloping ambience. Sthom's weighted soundscape and sonic density organically beat and coexist with each other in a breath-like ebb and flow; two plumes of smoke meeting in no-man 's-land waltzing together at their arrival, before dissolving out of cadence. The beat pummels with industrial gravity, the vocal inflexions archaic, reflecting on a storm above, adorning and captivating its landscape, actively separating the sky with the scorn of Zeus.
The Night is my undoubted favourite track of the release. It is reminiscent of Joy Division and goth-era Cure, with a winding guitar line that revolves collectively underneath agitated drum machines. It has a full, responsive bass line that bridges the two in harmony between the knife's edge. Balance is this track's song-suit, embodied within the chorus's vocalisations, bringing a measured cadence, further emblazoned by its movement's caustic swell.
The EP closes on the indifferent, resounding jangle of Underwater, aptly named as I feel washed up again the shore in the aftermath of a passing storm. We look out to the near-distant pier, its architecture boldly stationed within sullen waters. The track in itself seems like the conjoined melding of the two previous in its sonic tone. It opts once again for a distinct articulation in its hook, maintaining its heavy percussion and gothic undertones - typical of it darkwave tropes, but ultimately effectively executed.
All in all, this release is a must-listen for any fan of darkwave, industrial and goth-centred music. The effort has remarkable weight and gravity that pulls you in with measured accountability, with silky smooth and foreboding subject matter that edges on the macabre with sombre density. A wistful introduction to a project I eagerly anticipate more of in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future.