A soundtrack for the witching hour, New Haunts‘ debut album Worlds Left Behind is a veiled, intriguing exploration of independence. Fusing elements of coldwave, goth, early industrial and synthpop, she’s crafted a collection of distinctive, ominous sounds.
As the album’s title suggests, New Haunts is caught between the world she inhabits and the world she once knew. She explores this on opening track ‘Ingrained’ through urgent vocal harmonies that rise and fall against a backdrop of slow, scratchy drum sounds. It bleeds into lead single ‘Reactions’, a cold but magnetic offering which laments the simultaneous beauty and horror of having emotional connections. It’s connections like these that make the tortured howls on following track ‘Left Me Cold’ feel so sharp. They contrast well with her tentative and pained vocals during the verses, as foreboding synths underscore another moment of painful clarity.
‘Hymns’ and ‘New Haunts’ take listeners on a gentler electronic turn, with some Kate Bush-style wavering vocals, whilst ‘Waves’ breaks through this ambient interlude with jagged synths and more of New Haunts fluttering, urgent vocals. Its dark, glittering defiance flows into the subdued ‘Same Medicine’, followed by ‘Safe Out Here’ which is full of more brooding synths and wavering vocals.
Whispers of insecurity permeate closing track ‘Ice’ – “and I give it my all / as far as I know / as far as I can” – before abrasive synths push through a “concrete truth.” New Haunts may be at the beginning of her solo journey, but her debut record shows she is well equipped for these intriguing sonic ventures. Fans of Zola Jesus and Kate Bush will approve of her gothic noise on Worlds Left Behind.
Purchase the album from bandcamp here.
Photo Credit: Katie Murt