Friday Roundup: Tess Roby, Vandal Moon & FM Attack, All of Them Witches, Sunset Graves, Le Flex

Some Friday brevity for you. These are all great songs or albums that I’ve been listening to recently. Enjoy!


Tess Roby – “Catalyst”

Montreal-based Tess Roby is one of the best new additions to the Italians Do It Better family. Today the label posted the video for new single “Catalyst,” which is from her forthcoming debut album, Beacon, to be released April 20.

“Catalyst” is a beautiful array of arpeggiated synths and atmospherics and delicate guitar work, all orbiting Roby’s poignant vocal artistry. The song builds to a point in which her vocals mimic the Philip Glass-esque repetition of the synths. It’s a captivating preview of her album.

For more Roby, check out Ballad 5. (Feature photo of Roby by Hugo Bernier.)


Vandal Moon – “Baby Sounds” (FM Attack Remix)

Vandal Moon’s upcoming FM-Attack-produced album Wild Insane is a beautiful expression of early 1980s post-punk and darkwave, but the remix of lead single “Baby Sounds” by FM Attack (AKA Shawn Ward) ups the retro-accurate ante tenfold. He takes the original’s major The Chameleons vibes and manifests a cut The Cure would have included on Faith (although early ’80s production could never reach this level of fidelity. I look forward to the release of Wild Insane on April 20 via Ward’s new Starfield Music label.


All of them Witches – Hunters Moon

Synth scores for horror films not yet made or that don’t really exist — one of my favorite expressions of synthesizer-driven music — are one of the specialties of Burning Witches Records. Gary Dimes, AKA All of Them Witches, AKA co-founder of that record label, contributes a powerful collection to the faux-synth-scores genre with Hunters Moon. He excels at tapping into the music of the films of John Carpenter and Dario Argento, but injects a freshness and originality that renders these tracks anything but mere emulation.


Sunset Graves – The Inevitable End

Some moments represent a melodic crunch that peels off your skin with potency, one layer at a time. Others sound like pulseCoder and Enigma started a supergroup. And all of the moments are sublime.


Le Flex – The Handsome Boys Club

London-based Le Flex is back with his quintessentially delectable late 1980s blue-eyed soul. His vox are straight-up George Michael, as is a lot of the music. This is one you’ve probably missed, a reality that must be rectified.

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