A soundtrack for the witching hour: New Haunts‘ debut album Worlds Left Behind is a veiled but intriguing exploration of independence; fusing elements of coldwave, minimal synth, goth, early industrial, and synthpop to create a distinctive, ominous sound.
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 ominous synths and urgent vocal harmonies that rise and fall against a backdrop of slow, scratchy drum sounds. It bleeds in to lead single ‘Reactions’ – a cold but magnetic offering which laments the simultaneous beauty and the 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 following track ‘New Haunts’ both take a gentler electronic turn, with some Kate Bush-style wavering vocals.
‘Waves’ breaks through after this ambient interlude, with darker jagged synths and more of New Haunts fluttering, urgent vocals. It’s this combination that makes ‘Waves’ the standout track on the album. Its dark, glittering defiance of flows in to the subdued ‘Same Medicine’, which progresses in to the penultimate ‘Safe Out Here’ – 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 proving a “concrete truth”: New Haunts may be at the beginning of her solo journey, but her debut record shows she is well equipped for more intriguing sonic ventures.
Fans of Zola Jesus and the almighty Kate Bush will approve of her Gothic noise on Worlds Left Behind.
Purchase the album from bandcamp here.
Photo Credit: Katie Murt