Haunting is the first word that comes to mind when La Fete Triste and The Harrow join forces, releasing a split together with the title “Giant / Axis“. The solo-project La Fete Triste is the enigmatic and sorrowful new-wave project by Gabriel Brero, one of the men involved with aufnahme + wiedergabe, based out of Berlin (now in Hamburg). His twisted synthesizer and drum-machine-driven project derive inspiration out of both minimal synth and post-punk, coating his arms with a new-wave overlay that deliver the greatest sadness with melancholia at the middle, together with melodies that will ensnare you imminently. Add to that a guitar with concrete rhythms that adds a touch of your own dismay in the mix. Before this release, he had put out a single called “Lèvres Froides“, and he also did a split-release together with Lebanon Hanover, titled “Lebanon Hanover / La Fete Triste” where four tracks were put out. A lot of people have apparently been longing for new material for quite a while, three years to be exact. Together with The Harrow, he delves into this split-release with the track “Giant“. An at first ballad-esque track which soars through the landscape of sound with a post-punk sound with an almost anthemic touch to it. The mournful and depressive vocals with a German intonation at the end makes it a lot more impressive, because it builds up to a magnificent track because of that. An interesting anecdote is that Justin Stephens (Passion Play) is doing back-up vocals on this track, he’s produced and mixed it as well.
The Harrow, on the other hand, had delivered their first official self-titled debut on the now defunct label Function Operate last year. Even though some of their sound isn’t that emotive for me to begin with, I must say that I am impressed when I hear “Axis“, a track which breathes the otherwise so scarcely atmosphere that had been lacking before. It’s got more warmth than the earlier release of theirs, and to add insult to injury – Vanessa Irena‘s vocals attract you to their post-punk sound even more, as she adds another dimension to an otherwise good track. Making it even greater. The Harrow have been interesting in several ways before, but they haven’t really made anything that have been as great as this. Here, they show their true potential as craftsmen. Bringing their music to a whole other level together with their minimal approach to post-punk, with goth undertones that make you take it in even more. Everything is emotionless, but at the same time very emotive. A good paradox to be written upon their release as it is. Looking forward to hearing more of this kind of sound, in future releases. An interesting sway into the right direction. Stream both tracks down below and wait until you can buy the physical edition on vinyl on the 18th of May on aufnahme+wiedergabe.
The Harrow. A band that simply showed up in the catalog at Function Operate, last year. Having just released their self-titled EP, their first offering from the realms of shoegaze meets coldwave and post-punk. It might actually sound like a great combination, and it might also be commonplace – but somehow, The Harrow is something different. There is something about their music that is so eloquent, that is so simple, but it feeds into something different. It’s pretty easy to say that something is different, when there are so many bands and different constellations out there. But I’m telling you that they are. Most of the members, if not all of them – come from different constellations. Frank, who plays the bass, synth and program their drum-machine – have that background. He’s also been in numerous different bands. I asked him about different topics, ranging from art itself to the band, but also New York and what it’s like to be a band in the Big Apple. I sincerely hope that you enjoy this interview.
To everyone’s delight, I’ve snatched myself two songs from The Harrow – with their permission of course. Their dampened dream-pop would make any shoegazer go up in arms, and their post-punk would make a goth sob instead of trying to be misanthropic. These New Yorkers have both a literary connection, but also a musical. Consisting of Vanessa, Frank, Barrett and Greg – whom themselves come from varying musical backgrounds. I spoke with Frank, whom I’m going to have on this site in the near future, too. He lent me the two tracks “The Fall” and “Milk And Honey” from their latest, and currently only, EP-release on Function Operate. Since it was hailed by so many people, we’re going to let you download those two tracks for free. So you can head on over to Invisible Guy‘s soundcloud and download those tracks, free of charge. The EP itself is great and so are these two tracks, so I advise you to stop reading this gibberish and head on over to download them.
I stumbled upon this majestic piece of work, released by the label Function Operate. It’s a collectivized form of enjoyment, gathering the bright minds, sorting under different aliases. This ten-track long compilation of different enjoyable genres will take you for a ride through atmospheric cold wave, sincere shoegaze, dark and dampened minimal synth, tar-coated post-punk, or even to the width of magnificent synth-pop. Artists and bands that are featured on it are the following: Koban, Some Ember, Victoriana, The Harrow, Warmline, Claps, Tiers, Pretty Bleak, Ortrotasce and Redredred. It was mastered by Jimmy Derr and the wonderfully minimalistic cover was made by Jude Pierre. For the mere sake of purchasing it, you’ll only have to give 6 dollars for this great compilation. It is limited to 200 C60 cassettes, so you should get yours. Make up your own mind by listening through it down below.