WL//WH Track Of The Day: NAEVUS “Twilight Season”

Track Of The Day  Naevus

A stalwart of the British dark underground music scene for more than two decades constantly at the margins of the mainstream, London bred Lloyd James, through his band Naevus, founded in 1998, and eight studio albums, has been able to carve out its own space with a distinctive acoustic guitar-based sound and an outstanding magnetic deep voice.

If Lloyds‘ friendships and collaborations with ‘grey area’ artists such as Tony Wakeford (Sol Invictus, Crisis), Current 93, Spiritual Front, Matt Howden, Sieben, Rose MacDowall and many more, led his sound, too hastily, to have been labelled exclusively as neo-folk, he has ably added his late 70s/early 80s UK punk and post-punk influences (Wire, Magazine, The Fall, Joy Division, Buzzcocks) alongside industrial and psych-rock undertones, until the elegant noir-ish guitar rock of the last period with the arrival of guitarist Greg Ferrari.

Naevus has just dropped on Bandcamp a digital 4-track EP, titled “Twilight Season”, to be released widely on all the sharing platforms on April 27, first in a series of archival releases from Lloyd’s own label Wooden Lung.

While in recent years served as a live set opener, the title track dates back to 1998 and is the first-ever studio piece by Naevus, at the time a duo together with Joanne Owen on bass, later re-recorded with different lyrics and a different arrangement as “Parade”, part of the first LP “Truffles of Love”. The song appeared also on the 2014’s CD-R/digital compilation of pre-Naevus material under the name Winter titled “Brown is the Colour” via Vermont’s label Disques de Lapin & Dandy Tapes.

Introduced and ending with scattered eerily tinkling piano notes to create a suspenseful mood of mystery and drama exuding gothic romance, “Twilight Season” unravels in a hypnotic, brooding and beguiling concoction of relentless tightly lashing drum machine, John McGeoch-esque icy ethereally haunted guitar melodies and meandering gloomily menacing bassline, awash by subtle alienating winding keyboard flows, to conjure up layers of dark hidden lust and desires over deeply intense evocative male vocals, quivering in cold exposed anticipation for an intimate encounter instilled with the carnal pleasure found in silence, flesh, and domination.

A sheer distillation of UK gothic post-punk.

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