Still exhausted from the length of our last Retrocution post? I know I am. Well, fortunately for all of us, this post won’t be 700+ words long. After all, this time out, we’re covering a single, rather than a full album. The track in question? The newest Century Media signee, GOST, who returned this past week with the single, “She Lives in Red Light.” Hit the jump and dig in with us…
As I noted briefly in last week’s post, GOST’s most recent album, Possessor, left me a bit cold. Released back in March, the album saw mastermind Baalberith incorporating more of a distorted, metallic edge to his synthwave sound than we’d ever heard from him before. And to be fair, Possessor had its moments; the goth-styled vocal turns on “Sigil” and “Malum” were a revelation, while the frenetic pulsations of “16 A.M.” were just about irresistible. But, too many of the songs just…didn’t quite stick. The more extreme quality may have made things more jarring, but to me, at least, it also detracted a bit from GOST’s unique catchiness.
Which makes “She Lives in Red Light” an interesting follow-up, as it’s not particularly jarring, but it is quite catchy. Hell, it might be the most purely listenable GOST tune to date.
I don’t know that you can really call it a “return to form,” because this form isn’t something we’ve really heard from GOST before. It’s considerably more subdued than even his pre-Possessor fare, and relies on a more vintage-sounding synth palette than we’ve grown accustomed to from him. Where once Baalberith might have leaned a bit more into pure heft, “Red Light” embraces the melodic side of his music, with a high pitched, Carpenter-esque brass line dominating the proceedings.
That line accompanies a relatively minimalist, four-to-the-floor rhythmic feel that gives the tune a bit of room to breathe. There’s still plenty of the buzzy, static-filled synth textures you might expect from GOST, but they’re kept in check here — a bit lower in the mix, so as not to overwhelm the listener. Which, in turn, allows the vocals — yes, they’re back! — to take center stage. I’ve already made my feelings about vocals in synthwave songs clear — but, you know what? Sod my feelings; Baalberith’s Dave Gahan-esque croon is terrific, and is welcome to come out whenever it damn well wants.
All told, “She Lives in Red Light” makes for a pretty solid four-and-a-half minutes. At the moment, it’s all we’ve got from GOST as far as new material is concerned, so…check it out below, and keep your eyes peeled for what’s next. I know we will be.
Keep it heavy,
For more information on GOST, or to check out his upcoming tour itinerary, visit his Facebook page.