Music-wise, 2020 has been a year in which synthpop, in all its various facets, has given birth to memorable albums and songs, just think of Korine, Riki, Stereopolina, Profit Prison just to name a few. Personally, I have snubbed the pioneers of the genre a little, probably because of an excess of silly elitism, favorite for some time, along with the Pet Shop Boys, also by the hated ‘Paninari’, really appreciating the Basildon finest only at a later stage, preferring Gary Numan, Soft Cell, John Foxx’s Ultravox, a great concert with Midge Ure in 1981 though, Human League, quite terrible instead in 87, and my beloved Japan, the latter, with New Order, never considered proper synthpop, to tell the truth.
Equally hearty passionate, much more pessimistic, yet in some way more romantic than the Basildon’s band, the longstanding, seit 1992, one-man synthpop/darkwave project of Seattle-bred Scott-David Allen, A Covenant of Thorns, weaves obscure, poignant and emotional moods with mature songwriting and truly distinctive dire fatalistic melodies, bleeding love, loss and pain, slowly sneaking on you with enveloping, sparkling darkness.
The synth artist has announced the upcoming release of his 4th full-length album, “Black”, already on pre-order on his Bandcamp, due out December 18, 2020, previewed by the title track.
“Black” provides no brightness nor any hope or redemption, yet an impact at once enthralling, epic, powerful from the get-go, propelled by incessant lashing beats laced with a waving rumbling bassline hypnotically pulsing, wounded through by sharp swells of flashing synth that swirl with excruciating dramatic intensity around desperate anxious male vocals echoing lonely fear into the silent darkness of despair.
Keep up with A Covenant of Thorns: