Death Hags apparently tried to craft a sound like one would imagine the winter solstice to feel on one of the icy moons of Titan (one of the moons of Saturn). The resulting composition “North Pole Chaos” begins with a distorted drone and spiralling and sparkling tones akin to “First Dark Ride” by Coil. But when Lola G’s vocals come in singing “Silent Night” it’s spooky and gets more spectral as the vocals process into echoes that layer and flow into the stream of textured drone and intermittent blips that merge with a low atmospheric for an overall effect like one has become part of the surrounding, frigid environment before a more clear, bubbling melody pushes the low, distorted, distant howl to the edges of hearing. The effect is like stepping into a mysterious cave that blocks the chaos of a windy, winter storm outside, the vocals returning to beckon your back out into the primordial weather of the surface of a distant celestial object. The vibe recalls the mood of H.P. Lovecraft’s 1939 story “In the Walls of Eryx” and how the prospector in the story fades away while recounting his observations for the search party that eventually finds his corpse in a invisible maze on Venus—haunting yet oddly beautiful. Listen to “North Pole Chaos” on Bandcamp and take a chance on the rest of the album Frozen Santa which is a fascinating mix of brooding synth pop and experimental, wonderfully creepy ambient works. Connect with Death Hags at the links below.
The Skyforest edit of Death Hags’ “Be Who You Are” is reminiscent of Lush through the filter of C86 or late 90s Denver, Colorado and Athens, Georgia indie pop. Its introspective minimalism and hazy melody is irresistible with enough of fuzzy grit to give the song the kind of texture that sticks with you as well in the wash of sounds. Comparing the song to something Black Tambourine might have put out seems facile but the resonance is there for anyone looking for something with a similar vibe today. The message of the song, what the band says is “a call for radical self-acceptance,” seems essential in an era when there is so much personal dissection and the critique of others in our over-mediated society with our presence on the internet on various platforms. Simply accepting yourself for who and what you are shouldn’t seem radical, though it was challenging long before social media existed, but at this point in our collective social development in tandem with that of our technology it is. The song is part of BIG GREY SUN, a seven volume project to be released as four cassettes and a triple album throughout 2020 and 2021. Listen to “Be Who You Are” on Bandcamp and follow Death Hags at the links provided.