Under his solo moniker Dancing Plague, Spokane-bred, Portland-based artist Conor Knowles masterly combines gloomy and brooding goth-tinged darkwave moods with intensely turbulent and uncompromising EBM and techno driving rhythms peppered with emotionally charged lyrics and haunted by his unmistakable profound baritone. Depression, anxiety, and a solid understanding of mortality give his music an authenticity felt in the highly cathartic transference that takes place during his expulsion of inner demons. His love, commitment, and hard work are summed up in his own words given in an old interview with inlander.com, “I put everything I have into this project,” he says. “I think that all of myself is in my music.”
The darkwave artist, also half of dream pop/goth duo Psychic Guilt, has announced the release of his sophomore album “Too Still” due out August 30th via Dead Age Records (CD/Cassette/Digital) and Wave Records (Vinyl), freshly anticipated by the video of the first single aptly titled “No Life”, exploring the devastating and destructive nature illness inflicts upon those who want to help.
Bright obsessive technoid keyboard chords ebb and flow through the manic depressive battle between the dark sinister dance-inducing rhythm of throbbing basslines and the high strung spastic synth strikes as deep dire, and fearful male vocals shift between dead, detached dirges masking hidden anger and beautifully emotional operatic pleas held in silent suffering balanced and made whole by the energetic, poignant, hard-hitting drum beats blending the bipolar union of limb pain and tense rage.
Dark, deeply honest lyrics depict the twisted, confusing, and sick emotions experienced when a loved one is battling addiction. Watching a person harm themselves causes feelings of abandonment that lead to self-inflicted punishment. A loving subconscious desire to be close goes unnoticed as silence, lies, and fear change honor and pride into mistrust and shame. Unnatural feelings of anger and the inability to forgive reveals one of the hardest truths of addiction. You enabled them with fear and kept them ill with your ignorant attempts at help. The subconscious suffering tragically shared out of love triggers dangerous doubt in a serious life- long recovery process.
A look through the peephole exposes two haunted figures limping into a monochromatic backdrop painted in flat shades of grey. Time-lapse photography encapsulates an entire night in 4:30 minutes pointing out the intense energy consumed by the party animals as one puts on a negligee and nervously cleans while the other sits calmly like a king waiting to e served. A comedic performance as ghosts lightens the lyrical tragedy that compares substance abuse to death putting an emphasis on the divergence of feelings endured by all involved.
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