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A Zero Sum Game — Berlin Post-Punk Outfit Bleib Modern Debuts Devastating New Single “T​.​W​.​T​.​I​.​A.”

Embarking upon a profound meditation on the nature of success and loss, one invariably arrives at one desolate and dead-end destination. A zero-sum game, where absolute triumph bestows the spoils upon the victor while rendering the vanquished with nothing. This notion can be seen as a reflection of life’s stark realities, where power, wealth, and happiness often seem monopolized by a few, yet it also invites contemplation on the transient nature of victory and the impermanence of dominance. It challenges us to ponder the ethical dimensions of competition and the true cost of winning, questioning whether the bittersweet taste of victory can truly recompense for what is lost in the pursuit.

This is the essence behind the new song The Winner Takes It All, or T​.​W​.​T​.​I​.​A. from BLEIB MODERN, one of Berlin’s best post-punk outfits. Usually found in the cavernous venues and clubs of Berlin’s underground music scene, the band, previously aligning themselves with a lineage of prestigious imprints like Manic Depression and Wave Records, now prepares to undertake a new chapter that takes root with Young & Cold Records. Their eponymous fifth album heralds a metamorphosis, melding a brooding intensity with an almost hypnotic catchiness that evokes the spectral echoes of And Also The Trees, Clan of Xymox, and Drab Majesty.

T​.​W​.​T​.​I​.​A. opens with a marching drum beat that leads into powerful, brooding, almost mournful vocals accented by melodic, dirge-like piano synths. This cinematic and deeply affecting new single serves as a soundtrack to an imagined film with high stakes: life, death, a broken heart, and shattered dreams. Delving deeper into their signature sound, Bleib Modern blends guitars, drums, and bass with synths and samples, creating a captivating mix of raw power and subtle allure. This latest endeavor traces the band’s journey through the mid-2010s darkwave and post-punk resurgence.

“The first nebulous glance into the world of our new album, and actually into our first proper professional visual appearance ever thanks to Tom Funk, Micha, Eddie, and Paul. We froze for it, and so shall you. Got an essential Bleib Modern feeling, but next level.”

Tom Funk directed the short preview video for the song. Watch below:

Conceived in 2014 by the enigmatic Philipp Läufer, Bleib Modern emerged as a pivotal force in the post-punk resurgence, distinguishing themselves as Germany’s first anglophone harbingers of this revival. Renowned for their electrifying live performances, they’ve carved out a formidable presence on the global stage, releasing four albums and two EPs and traversing over 25 countries, from the icy expanses of Stockholm to the sun-drenched streets of Athens, from the gritty alleys of Warsaw to the bustling avenues of London. Though anchored in Berlin, their somber melodies resonate far beyond, weaving a darkly alluring web that has captivated audiences worldwide.

Listen to the full version of “T​.​W​.​T​.​I​.​A.” via Spotify.

Bleib Modern’s forthcoming self-titled LP will be released via Young and Cold Records on June 21, 2024.

Pre-Order Here

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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