Fragile Gods Seek Relief From the Deep Anxieties of the Modern Era on “Medicine”

Fragile Gods channel a touch of early 80s New Wave synth pop on the single “Medicine.” It gives the song an uplift and nostalgic glow even as the lyrics are made up of a series of thoughts that point to a deep sense of personal dysfunction. The lyric “Everything is fine until it isn’t” seems like something everyone that has had to live through the last twenty years at a minimum can relate to directly as diminishing expectations and the unacknowledged glass ceilings have been pushing downward and one finds ways to rationalize your way through this increasing sense of anxiety either through believing that you can grind away and enter the economic upper 1% only to find out that that group of people is being crushed under too by their own 1%. When the male and female vocalists sing about trying to find something, in this case medication because other methods might take too long to help in the moment, to make themselves feel better when the economic system is essentially collapsing under its own weight and ecological disaster is being completely unaddressed by the world at large ready to make all existing economic systems and arrangements completely irrelevant not in our children’s or grandchildren’s lifetime but within the next two decades it seems irrational to think it’s realistic to want anything other than a little comfort in the last days of the world as we know it. But in the tradition of other synth pop bands like OMD, Human League and New Order, Fragile Gods use a subversion of melodic pop playfulness to deliver content with a touch of uncomfortably honest irony to not act as soporific but as balm on the nerves to get through to maybe a time when we can do something real about what’s ailing us because nihilistic cynicism and despair aren’t going to be adequate to the situation. Listen to “Medicine” on YouTube and follow Fragile Gods at the links provided.

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“Switch Off The Light” is a Spooky Yet Sweet Unconventional Love Song From Synth Pop Group Fragile Gods

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Fragile Gods “Switch Off The Light” cover (cropped)

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.

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Fragile Gods’ “Days Without End” is Like a Night Time Stroll to the City’s Still Secret Places

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Fragile Gods, photo courtesy the artist

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.

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