Deadlight Dance: Innocent Beginnings

Marlborough’s darkwave-goth duo, Deadlight Dance push their boundaries to new limits with their second single, Innocent Beginnings this week, and it’s a corker of goth perilous poignancy…..

Echoes of Human League synth prowess rain from this sombre tune, with foreboding warning vocals of Joy Division, yet the theme is environmental, something though historically consistent in pop, generally, surprisingly overlooked by the alternative subgenre of post-punk gothic of the eighties. You’d have thought with the stereotypical gloomy disposition of the genre, climate change was a missed opportunity for electronica, and/or post-punk goth subject matter; though maybe you know different, I’m no expert.

While it has been done, eighties misconceptions of the subject often obscure the severity of the topic, and place them subtly irreverent by today’s standards. Best I can conjure from memory is The Pixies’ track Monkey Gone to Heaven, of which the context of pollution and the depleting ozone layer is missed amidst the screeching vocals of Black Francis, A Forest by the Cure, which always felt more Little Red Riding Hood than eco-warrior, Talking Heads’ (Nothing but) The Flowers which is all too satirical art-pop, experimentally awash with soukous, for some bizarre reason, and even to endure ten minutes of Giorio Moroder’s less-inspiring disco synth moment in Cerrone’s Supernature only to discover elements of environmental concerns conclude with humankind obliterated by some kind of “creature from below!” 

It makes this single of an interesting composition, sounding so retrospective; precision with environmental subject matter came much later than this track imitates, therefore musical trends had changed by the time it’s more astutely covered. Ethereal nineties and noughties alternative rock certainly made full use of the topic, from Mors Syphilitica to All About Eve, but Innocent Beginnings, as is Deadlight’s design, it seems, is to recreate the sound of alternative eighties, leaving you pondering if Joy Division were at their peak now, climate change would have been the theme of Atmosphere, and might have come out sounding akin to this. Not forgoing, environmental groups would clasp hold of it, rather than just the creators of Stranger Things!  

Though, having said all of the gloomy irreversible theme of Innocent Beginnings which basically suggests it’s all too late to do something about it now, the video is contradictorily recorded in the setting of the pretty village of Aldbourne; hardly the dystopian landscape of a post-apocalyptic earth wrecked by our own hand! And in turn, makes me come over all Greta Thunberg and contemplate at least if we try, we can say we tried; put that in your pipe and smoke it, Nick Fletcher and Tim Emery of Deadlight Dance! Damn good track though, guys, and produced by Nick Beere at Mooncalf Studios, we look forward to hearing more from these guys.


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