Seattle-based post-punk outfit Nostalgist has shared Smoldering Amber, the second single lifted off their new album ‘Disaffection’, slated for vinyl and digital release on March 16. The six-track offering includes five original songs and a cover of Texture from Catherine Wheel’s 1992 classic ‘Ferment’. This new single follows up the super lush shoegaze ripper Present:Tense. Take a listen to Smoldering Amber via Soundcloud below.
Formed in 2012, Nostalgist is led by Asa Eisenhardt (vocals and guitar). ‘Disaffection’ follows ‘Of Loves and Days Ago’ (2015) and 2013’s ‘Monochromantic’ EP, which was engineered, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, King Woman, Tony Molina).
Recorded and mixed throughout 2016 and 2017, every track on ‘Disaffection’ features great contributions by renowned drummer Aesop Dekker (Khorada, Worm Ouroboros, Extremity, ex-Agalloch). More recently, in the fall of 2017, Alex Entrekin joined as the new drummer, building on Dekker’s crushing performances while bringing nuances and twists all his own. Monte McCleery (also of Seattle funeral doom outfit Un) is currently filling in on bass.
Nostalgist’s brand of heavy, ethereal post-punk is informed by bands like Lowlife, Slowdive, Lycia, Comsat Angels, The Chameleons, Killing Joke, Fields of the Nephilim, Hum, and Red House Painters.
Asa Eisenhardt comments on Smoldering Amber: “This is the most lyrically intimate thing I’ve written to date. As with many of my songs, it chronicles the beginning, middle and end of some manner of relationship, but here the words are especially dramatic (even for me, ha) and visceral. Infatuation is the most central theme. The instrumental arrangement emphasizes a dub rhythm in the verses, and I expect that influence to become even more prominent in future material. Dub was an enormous influence on ’80s post-punk, so following the throughline from bands I hold near and dear as influences (Comsat Angels, The Chameleons and Killing Joke to name but a few) and investigating that sound continues to be a natural progression for me.”
“At the same time, I do my best to really blend things up when I write, and both the mix and contrast of the heavy and the ethereal in Smoldering Amber is easily the most pronounced of the songs on Disaffection. The verse section is minimal and grooving, but the chorus is huge and lumbering. The bridge is fragile and deliberate, the outro is hard-charging, uptempo and intertwined with synth melody. Dynamics are another dimension of musical color one can explore and manipulate, really. All in all, I think this track is especially exemplary of our elemental makeup”.
Emotional openness has been the band’s hallmark since the band’s beginnings. Since its inception, Nostalgist’s sonic blend has been equal parts swirling riffs, expansive shoegaze atmospheres and airy post-punk isolation, combined with a romantic, self-questioning lyrical bent and cinematic themes. Lush layers of warm guitar fuzz and shimmering reverb interweave with melodic bass, intricate drums and evocative, determined vocals, tempering the music’s melancholy with just a slight sliver of hope.
Nostalgist crafts lush and powerfully intense distortion-laden dream rock riffs. A love of film noir, a sense of isolation and a decidedly romantic aesthetic shine through what are generally vulnerable lyrics. Eisenhardt’s talents in post-punk song-crafting are illuminated in the darkest moments with the warm, glowing embers of nebulous shoegaze.
The outfit’s latest output only further refines these sounds and ideas. “When writing ‘Disaffection,’ my sights were firmly set on creating a handful of focused, memorable songs that crystallized everything I’ve wanted Nostalgist to be, to the best and most thorough degree possible. It’s a mission statement on the direction of everything to come,” says Eisenhardt.
2. Smoldering Amber
5. Threshed At Dusk, Winnowed At Dawn
‘Disaffection’ will be released on March 16 on vinyl and digitally on March 30 via the band’s own Nostalgium Directive label.