“When we were young the future was bright. No one told us we were buried alive. Now we aspire just to barely survive. Trapped in a box, searching for light. There is just no future left for us.”
Taking inspiration from synthwave, new wave, and goth, Austin-based post-punk trio Urban Heat delivers dreamy, dark pop dance beats. Their woeful new single, “Trust,” is a lamentation of a lost future and the feelings of defeat this invokes.
Fusing dark 80’s stylings with modern flourishes, with Jonathan Horstmann’s throaty baritone muses upon human existence and romanticism against an industrial, gothic pulse. We hear elements of She Wants Revenge, Sisters of Mercy, New Order, Midnight Oil, and a dark Twin Shadow in the sound of this song, which is on their Wellness EP via Spaceflight Records. It hearkens back to the nuclear threat vibes of the 1980s; where songs like “99 Luftballons” and “Forever Young” captured that same resignation of stolen happiness, but now with the added gravitas of worldwide unrest.
“It’s about the disenfranchisement of a generation,” explains Horstmann. “We were promised this sort of ideal that many of us will never achieve, and from a personal place, that’s just a really tough pill to swallow. It’s compounded by the knowledge of the kind of world our children are inheriting. This is Urban Heat at our most nihilistic.”
The video for the song captures the moodiness of the band, and their magnetic personality as a collective. This is a beautiful encomium to what could have been… and now we must adjust to a new normal.
Urban Heat was formed by Horstmann in 2019 when he invited multi-instrumentalists Kevin Naquin and Paxel Foley to round out his analogue sound design experiments at live shows. They released six singles between 2019 and 2022, and while the pandemic thwarted a SXSW appearance, they returned in 2022 as official artists.
Their new EP was co-produced by Horstmann and Jonas Wilson (The Black Angels, A. Sinclair).
Urban Heat’s Wellness EP is out now.
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