Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes select tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.
As a personal caveat I wanted to just say that these aren’t the songs that have been bumping hard in my ride for the last two weeks (those would be mostly weird hip hop that Wes gave me and more Dimmu Borgir). Driving home tonight I was thinking about all of the songs that I had heard this week and tried to narrow it down just two - but when I sat down to write this post I started feeling nostalgic and two really great images came to mind.
Skinny Puppy - “Cult”
Do you have a track that you randomly pops into your head at any given time, no matter what the mood is, no matter where you are? I remember walking in the gardens of Millenium Park in Chicago just as the sun was setting and the moon became apparent in the summer sky and whispering “Crescent moon, I’m cutting through, paste up warnings filled sky, smoking embers I remember, time and time again to try - to live in light.” My partner turned to me and asked what I was whispering. After telling her I was slightly embarrassed to have recited all of the words.
This song definitely hit me hard when I was younger. I will never forget it.
Carpathian - “Permanent”
“This is a story of permanence, This is a story of unchained momentum, This is a story of everything we ever wanted.”
I like this song because it gives me the feeling of being young (which I am, I know.) It is such a nice homage to the way when you feel when you are young and mad and you don’t know how to feel about it. That first break up. That first real life thing that went wrong. The feeling that everything is falling apart around you and you just kind of want to stand in the middle of the ocean forever yelling at nothing. “I tell myself that I know that I don’t want to be the man who tells the stories of all the things that I know, ripped from my hands before I truly grasp them, and I know that if we shut down in stages then let this be the last time that I know.”
My Fictions - “Stranger”
Can you feel that? Man, I can feel that. I can feel that all the way into my bones.
It was really hard for me to choose a song to pick. I’ve been listening to the album Stranger Songs over and over, and any one of the songs that appear on it could have wound up on this list. I chose to highlight this song because of how well it exemplifies the parts of post-hardcore that I love the most. The beats are slow and brooding; the guitars alternate between frantic, spacey tremolo picking and depressive low riffs; and the vocals are so raw and emotive that it is impossible for me to not be carried away into the feeling of the song. To top it off, it carries out on a sample of a Leonard Cohen interview that works as a through line for the whole album.
Kassandra Nunes - “Show Me Love”
I think trap has really settled into its place as filling the role that two years ago dubstep filled. It is an overdone EDM genre that took most its queues from a culture that the producers were totally detached from. The EDM variety is mostly bad at this point, and trap is starting to seep into everything around it.
However, in the song “Show Me Love” Kassandra Nunes takes this trap influence and bends it in a very positive way. Where the vocals and lyrics could have worked in a traditional pop setting, Nunes takes cues from the darker sounds of trap; the song is spacey, with deep bass kicks and snare shuffles pulling the more upbeat vocals and synths down into a state of melancholia. “Show Me Love” seems to show how well it can work when you start twisting tropes and experiment with moving them into settings you don’t expect to hear them in.