WL//WH Review: THE DANSE SOCIETY “Sailing Mirrors” LP

WL//WH Album Review  The Danse Society

Here we have one of the most important releases in 2020, here we have one absolute cracker of an album, here is the brand new sonic motion by UK legends The Danse Society that are celebrating 40 years with new album ‘Sailing Mirrors’ (released September 1st)!!! I know that you all know the band, I know that you all have their records in your libraries, I know that TDS don’t need any particular introduction as it is a brand that is ‘Reinventing Darkness Since 1980’, but I really need to share with you all a piece from the press kit that arrived in WL//WH’s headquarters:

40 years ago 5 fresh-faced young lads from t’pit tarn of Barnsley emerged from the coal face of Yorkshire to make some noise – turns out it was good noise, dark and purposeful looking for an escape from the inevitability of a job down t’mine. Self-releasing the first single ‘Clock’ the band slogged up and down the country and John Peel jumped on board offering sessions and support. Killing Joke, Bauhaus and The Cure support tours followed and the rest is ‘history’ – major label, top 20 album, no hit single, dropped by major, split up – it was 1987; it was a short but bright burn at the beginning of the 80s which spawned an enthusiastic and loyal following, pestering for a reformation on the emerging social media platform of Facebook back in 2010. Since the reformation, the band has self-released 3 albums to critical acclaim and are about to celebrate this 40th anniversary with their 7th studio album. It’s been a busy last few years – tours abroad and headlining the darker underground festivals and continuing to build the fanbase, this new album can only continue to push the band onwards into the 2020s

In other words, actions speak louder than words. Founder PAUL NASH – GUITARS, Mastermind of Blooding Mask MAETHELYIAH – VOCALS, SAM BOLLANDS – KEYS, JACK COOPER – BASS, and TOM DAVENPORT – DRUMS, created a 9-track dark exploration into life past present, and future. The entire ‘Sailing Mirrors’ album is an utterly persuasive release and it includes TDS’ flesh and blood. 9 songs of immersive gothic-wise postpunk music that run easily in my veins, and I wanted more! It all sounds as the band is passing through a pretty creative phase of their moon with great inspiration and are offering one really compact album in all aspects. The first single to appear was ‘Valerio’s Theme’ and it was like stating “you’ll probably won’t believe what we’ve been cooking in the studio”. Get ready for some serious gothic rock grooves and shakes!!!

Really now?! This band shows no signs of fatigue after 40 years in the pitch! They don’t seem like resting on their laurels but they are sounding like thrusting more into the new era of postpunk music. The second song they unveiled was the s/t of the album, an epic downtempo ‘dangerous’ beauty!!!

No question about the team’s skills and the singer is offering some serious pain and dedication to the purposes of TDS by all means. Maethelyiah is also an opera singer and oh yeah, luckily, she (and the band) don’t bother to prove her musical background with epic chocks and majestic vocals, but it’s pretty obvious that the lady at the front who joined the band in 2011 is the best “narrator” they could get when they reformed again that year.

The Danse Society, photo by www.pauljjames.com

You must expect to hear her singing with passion and with power through the whole album, and you must also expect to listen to amazing songs on the new streams of postpunk music. Nice songs, “fast” songs, that are seemingly catchy enough to make this album a hit on the radios and to the dancefloors, with a really healthy taste on what is indeed this alternative genre. You will hear wild guitars and some furious drumming occasionally, with huge synthesizers and bass. No need to mention (I think) that the production and the sound of the album are equal to the band’s fame and their credentials in music generally. Everything in here is accurate and targeted in terms not to pointlessly uplift another album, but to capture the moment in the studio with the most respect to this legendary band and to the people who are going to buy the album. I could write on and on about ‘Sailing Mirrors’ and then finally give you my own focus tracks, but no. I’ll leave you alone to discover it with just a small hint by me; pay good attention to the track ‘Hiding In Plain Sight’ as it is the most special and privy song in the album, do you believe in fusion-darkwave?! Here is the whole new album by The Danse Society, lay back and listen loud!!!

Keep Up With The Danse Society:

Written by Loud Cities’ Mike