What is so great about this second single from Montreal’s electro-darkwavers is that I can hear so much of the past in it, the record collection of my formative, black-clad years just as readily as I follow them into a glorious, new, gothic-tinged future.
Blending alt-rock with electronic grooves, shaded gothic tones with dark pop textures, they feel like the sharp end of the evolutionary journey that took us from post-punk pioneers to slick, of the moment, genre-free creatives. And for every futuristic beat and forward-thinking step into tomorrow’s sonic potential, you occasionally hear something comforting and familiar. The echo of Eldritch’s menacing growl, the haunting, coiling, spiralling sound of Cure-esque bass lines, the intense electronic drive of the likes of Rosetta Stone or more recently Kirlian Camera. The result is something dark and delicious, sultry and sexy.
And it is that heady blend of what has gone before and where things go next that is the secret to their charm. So many bands working in the same territory are content to echo only the past, and whilst there is something wonderfully familiar to be found here for those who have had such music soundtrack their entire adult lives, there is also something brilliantly fresh…if you can apply such a word to music that hangs heavy in the air, is built on claustrophobic vibes and cocoons the listener in a dark sonic shroud.
Music can act as a sort of time machine, propelling the listener back to times and places that were important stepping stones in their life journey. But just as it can play the nostalgia card, it can also give you a glimpse of where music goes next and hint at what is to come. Sexsomnia in general and Catharsis, in particular, does just that.