Track Of The Day: Softcult – ‘Perfect Blue’

A swirling, emotive reflection on a time laced with frustration, Canadian duo Softcult have shared their latest single ‘Perfect Blue’. Taken from their forthcoming EP Year of the Snake, which is set for release on 4th February, the track is an introspective take on how compromising your creativity to please others can lead to emotional burnout.

Formed of Ontario-based twins Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn, Softcult cut their teeth playing live shows in their local town of Kitchener, before moving on to bigger audiences on the North American tour circuit. Their experiences of playing and working within a male-dominated industry formed the foundation for their current sound, which is born from the desire to reject toxic standards of femininity and embrace a more equal world. Latest single ‘Perfect Blue’ reaffirms this narrative, lulling listeners with its soft dual vocals and intoxicating shoegaze-y riffs.

“We wrote ‘Perfect Blue’ about a time in our lives when we felt like nothing was in our control,” explains Mercedes. “In our previous project, we were signed to a label that butted heads with us creatively and wasn’t allowing us to express ourselves authentically. They weren’t interested in the music we were creating at the time, so we became unhealthily obsessed with trying to please them to release anything at all.”

“It felt as though we were putting on an act to survive,” Phoenix adds. “We didn’t feel like our art was representing us. There was a lot we wanted to say, but it was being stifled. We felt like we’d lost our integrity. The song is a reminder to empower yourself by standing up for what you believe in, or risk losing yourself altogether.”

The track is accompanied by a captivating video, produced and directed by Mercedes. “I wanted the viewer to feel like they are entering the mind of someone who is watching themselves transform, powerless to stop their metamorphosis,” she explains about the visuals. “I clearly remember times in my life when I felt pressure to become a version of myself that others wanted me to be, but that version wasn’t authentic to who I was. I felt like I was losing my integrity and my sense of self. I’d look at myself in the mirror and be disgusted at what I saw, unattached to who I had become. There’s a vibe of health anxiety, dysphoria, dissociation, a little horror element in there that I wanted to capture with the visuals. The skin peeling scenes are meant to elicit those feelings, like a snake shedding its skin.”

Watch the video for ‘Perfect Blue’ below.

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Softcult UK Tour Dates 2022
Thursday, February 17th – Crofters – Bristol
Friday, February 18th – The Victoria – Birmingham
Saturday, February 19th – Heartbreakers – Southampton
Sunday, February 20th – The Key Club – Leeds
Tuesday, February 22nd – The Garage (Attic Bar) – Glasgow
Wednesday, February 23rd – The Deaf Institute – Manchester
Thursday, February 24th – Camden Assembly – London

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: DEBBY FRIDAY – ‘FOCUS’

Inspired by her decision to fully embrace her creativity and push her talents to the limit, Nigeria-born, Vancouver-based audio-visual artist DEBBY FRIDAY has shared her latest single ‘FOCUS’. Full of jagged electronics and sultry, commanding vocals, the track is accompanied by a striking set of visuals featuring and co-directed by Friday and Ryan Ermacora.

“I wrote this song in 2019, when I first started thinking about writing an album and the possibility of pursuing my creative passions as my career was making itself known to me,” Friday explains about ‘FOCUS’. “I kept debating with myself, ‘do I want this? or do I not want this?’ It’s a heavy question. The video also speaks to this. The whole process was like undergoing some sort of fire baptism. It was difficult and chaotic and supernatural. I felt like I was the mountain, cracking open and spilling forth.”

Cauterizing her conflicting thoughts with impressive flair, Friday’s efforts have resulted in a distinctive sound and aesthetic. She elaborates on how the accompanying video was created: “Getting the logistics of everything together was the most stressful part. It’s not everyday that you have to figure out how to make an avalanche and take fire bullwhip cracking lessons. Thankfully, I had a really supportive crew the whole way through. It took a lot but I feel like this song and video marks a turning point for me that I can’t exactly name yet.”

Watch the video for ‘FOCUS’ below.

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Photo credit: Laura Baldwinson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Softcult – ‘Spit It Out’

A lush, swirling guitar tune that gently encourages listeners to face their unconscious bias, Canadian duo Softcult have shared their latest single ‘Spit It Out’. Since the release of their debut EP Year Of The Rat earlier this year, the pair have been busy working on new material, with this new offering building on their existing manifesto to resist and relieve the pressures that come with existing in a patriarchal world.

Formed of Ontario-based twins Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn, Softcult cut their teeth playing live shows in their local town of Kitchener, before moving on to bigger audiences on the North American tour circuit. Their experiences of playing and working within a male-dominated industry formed the foundation for their current sound, which is born from the desire to reject toxic standards of femininity and embrace a more equal world.

‘Spit It Out’ embodies this outlook, as the band explain in more detail: “The song is about rejecting harmful ideologies that we’ve come to accept as normal, even though they perpetuate our own oppression. Most people understand that misogyny, sexism, racism, etc are wrong, but don’t often notice when it occurs in our every day lives, in the media, or how we’ve been conditioned to perceive the world. We can even unknowingly become part of the problem because we’ve internalized these ways of thinking. We wrote the song about resisting societal standards which only serve to benefit those that hold power over others. By simply refusing to accept these ideologies, we can weaken the pillars in our society that allow oppression and injustice. It all starts with questioning them in the first place, and then deciding that we aren’t going to continue to contribute to them.”

Watch the video for ‘Spit It Out’ below.

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Photo credit: Judith Priest

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Lingua Ignota – ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’

A sombre, affecting lament that centres on a lyrical motif underscoring her upcoming album SINNER GET READY, Lingua Ignota aka Kristin Hayter has shared her latest single ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’. Accompanied by an elegant set of visuals that show the multi-instrumentalist wearing exquisite couture pieces created by artist & Sargent House label mate Ashley Rose, the track & video focus on the iconography of the blood of Jesus and how it can “wash and cleanse every stain,” as disgraced American Evangelist TV Preacher Jimmy Swaggart once tearfully confessed.

Shot by Emily Birds, Ashley Rose’s beautiful bespoke costumes in the footage serve to heighten the majestic, yet morbid nature of Hayter’s voice and vision. “Working collaboratively with Ashley has been a dream,” Hayter explains. “I have been able to explore the ideas of my record with wearable art. I chose to wear her mask on the cover of SINNER GET READY because it held the sharp dichotomy of my music; it was chaste and erotic, exquisite and grotesque. For the ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’ video, the expressive capacity of her garments are meditated upon in juxtaposition to the stark, desolate quality of my song. It is the material vs. the immaterial, and the result is languid and dreamy and wonderfully claustrophobic.”

With her new record, Lingua Ignota has made a distinct departure from the furious, visceral sounds of previous offering CALIGULA, but her sensational vocals are still the lifeblood of the album. On ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’, they tentatively unravel over sparse, melancholy keys so that even without a full understanding of the track’s biblical context, Hayter’s song still provides a profound emotional release.

Watch the video for ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’ below.

Pre-order SINNER GET READY here (released on 6th August via Sargent House)

Follow Lingua Ignota on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Lisa Birds

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut