Single Reviews: 6 August 2023: Future Daughter, Half Human, Death Hags, Bubka, Cinematonic

Photo by Scott Evans

Future Daughter - Eg er liten eg


You'd be forgiven for assuming that "Eg er liten eg," the first single taken from Norwegian experimental electronic group Future Daughter's album Nye Krigere, is a soundtrack to a fantastical story. Not only does its loose structure dynamically rise with playful instrumentation and dramatically measured vocals, but its loud and crystal clear production has a transportive quality that would more than suit the silver screen. However, this track was composed for the stage, not the screen, specifically for the play "Nye Krigere", which involves two characters who craft their own worlds of meaning to mitigate the emptiness of reality. Such themes are serviced wonderfully by this short but potent track, which espouses a childlike sense of wonder and an uncompromising, if not tacky, sense of beauty.

Half Human - The New Way


Three-piece Brooklynite post-punk group Half Human communicates their haughty themes of escape with snarky vocals, jagged guitar sounds, and razor-sharp percussion on their recent single "The New Way," the first single to be taken from their album "Intelligent Design." Visiting darker corners of the human psyche, the group builds up an abstract palette of gnarly sounds from a foundation of a repeating three-chord bass line, which adds some much-appreciated structure to the otherwise freewheeling and non-figurative assault of sounds, resulting in a noxious track low in clarity but high in energy. While it's hard to know exactly what's going on here, both musically and lyrically, the intent somehow comes through in performances underpinned by nonchalant passive-aggression, which compels the listener to throw caution to the wind.

Death Hags - Topologie Spectrale (Deep Drift)

experimental electronica

LA-based artist Lola G goes by the curiously dark stage name Death Hags, and the music of this project is equally sinister. On "Topologie Spectrale [Deep Drift]," a cut taken from the album Lost in the Triangle d'Or, the producer patiently stews erratic drum hits, odd vocal samples, and warbling synths before the track finally comes to life around the halfway mark with crystalline hi-hats and an ambient ostinato giving some structure to the otherwise free-flowing track. This delayed gratification allows the artist to lead listeners down a dark corridor of obscurity, only to be shown an accessible space of colour and light. This slow brew rewards patient ears with universally danceable beats and a more artistic-leaning foray into abstract sonic painting.

Bubka - Fruit of the Doom

psychedelic rock

Swiss Doom rockers Bubka are equally hard-hitting and melodic on their recent single "Fruit of the Doom." Comprised of members Reto Beeler on drums and synth, Meek Hofmann on bass, and Iwan Gasser on keys and synths, the Central Europeans casually purvey a tightly-knit blast of instrumental post-rock, which is in no hurry to get its point across. Across seven minutes, the group riff on retro synth lines, modern rock rhythms, and arrangements so generous in length and scope one can't help but feel a psychedelic effect kick in as they follow the spacious grooves that never seem to end, nor want to. However, it's not all one-note. The group allows their energetic antics to simmer down to quiet interplay that ascends again towards some truly epic moments.

Cinematonic - No Hay Cadáveres Exquisitos


For a two-piece, Mexican math rock band Cinematonic makes quite a racket. In their recent single, "No Hay Cadáveres Exquisitos," members Harry Febres and Christian Navarro arrange intricate guitars and drums around sweetly-sung lyrics that touch on the dichotomies of metaphysical thought such as life and death. With somewhat of a throwback sound, this unsuspecting group sounds like they could have come from the early 00s, and while the track has a prevailing sense of doom, there's a brightness to be found in the emotive singing of collaborator Reis, as well as the clean and atmospheric sound of the instrument which culminate in a track prime for skateboarding sessions or late-night bus rides.