Fragile Gods tap into a lo-fi 80s synth pop sound for its single “Switch Off The Light.” The processed male vocals sound like something channeled from AM radio floating over spare electronic percussion and a bouncing, distorted synth line accented by playful tones and counter melody on another synth. Even when joined by female vocals, the whole song has the quality of a lost gem of a song one might find on a VHS of cable access/public television music video shows. Sonically it’s reminiscent of Pseudo Echo, Landscape and The Human League if that music was recorded in a home studio with a lead singer who is clearly inspired in part by Peter Murphy and David Bowie. The words to the song hint at supernatural themes but as a pretext for people getting together. The lines “You’re not the only who hears whispers in the night/you’re not the only one who sees things in the dark” solicit a common bond, a solidarity of uncommon sensitivity. When the vocalist sings “There are ghosts that occupy my dreams, now I fear I’m coming apart at the seams, switch off the light, it’s alright, hold me tight,” it comes from a place of not wanting to be alone amid one’s fears and anxieties, whether of the actual supernatural variety or of those that can feel like it in the moment. Perhaps an unusual and unconventional love song but one that becomes a bit of an earworm. Listen to “Switch Off The Light” on Soundcloud and follow Fragile Gods on the group’s website linked below.
Fragile Gods are rooted in 80s experimental electronic and post-punk bands like Cabaret Voltaire (think the more pop-oriented The Crackdown and The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm of the Lord period) and Nitzer Ebb. But its new single “Days Without End” strikes some vocal tonality reminiscent of David Bowie of the same era and a bit of Andrew Eldritch in his less angsty moments. Frederick Frantz and Aika Zabala compliment each other perfectly in creating that kind of lost public access video quality with the swarming-flowing synth track and stark atmospherics and the retro vocal processing throughout. But it doesn’t sound like retro-fetishism either. It’s a well-crafted song in which you can get lost in its foggy, introspective moods and vocal and melodic synth line interplay. The song doesn’t get stuck in a dynamic rut and evolves in interesting directions like you’re being lead through a night time urban landscape in the pre-dawn dark to one of the only remaining underground clubs where the music isn’t dictated or shaped by an algorithm and where you can be around like-minded connoisseurs of authentic underground culture. Listen to “Days Without End” on Soundcloud and follow Fragile Gods on their website or listen on Spotify where you can check out the rest of the band’s output including its EPs Cold Comfort and The Future Never Came.