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Between Love and Lust — Listen to San Diego Darkwave Duo Twin Ion Engine’s Debut Album “Dark Fetish”

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The astrology doesn’t match

I’m starving

No sun or moon is ever free

Twin Ion Engine, a two-piece post-punk/darkwave band, was conjured by Eddie Lopez in 2020, back when the world decided it needed to dial up the existential dread. Originally a solo project in sunny San Diego, CA, the band explores love, loss, and intimacy with somber vocals, catchy guitar melodies, heavy bass lines, and drums that crash like an unsettled spirit haunting an attic.

Drawing inspiration from the early 2000s indie/alternative rock and the brooding aura of 80s post-punk/synthwave, Ion Engine has brewed a modern concoction of post-punk and darkwave. They carve their place in the thriving underground scene in the vein of contemporary acts such as Molchat Doma, Lebanon Hanover, Twin Tribes, and Vestron Vulture. Their new LP, Dark Fetish, is a record as cheerfully grim as its title suggests.

“We are ecstatic,” gushes Lopez. “…It’s our first TIE release as a duo. Lots of emotions went into the making of it, such as love and lust, which made the term ‘Dark Fetish’ a perfect name and description.”

The album commences with the Spanish-language Distancia, which explores a sense of emotional detachment and resignation. The singer acknowledges the distance between them and their partner, noting that it no longer matters to them if the partner is indifferent. Next comes the bilingual Idée Fixe, which delves into a provocative exploration of desire and ambiguity in a relationship. The singer questions whether the connection is fueled by love or mere physical attraction, seeking clarity in a world of blurred lines. The call to escape to Tijuana and the intimate confessions underscore the tension between emotional distance and physical closeness, highlighting the complexity of their bond.

Then comes SUPERNOVA, which captures the disarray and disconnection of someone struggling to understand both their own and another’s emotional state. The repetitive plea for clarity and the refrain of seeking medical help underscore a sense of confusion and distress. Fittingly, this is followed by Night Terrors, which paints a stark and unsettling landscape of emotional detachment and haunting memories. Amidst a backdrop of night terrors and failed connections, one grapples with feelings of self-loathing and the inescapable presence of someone who lingers in their dreams. Solstice follows, which depicts a raw confrontation with betrayal and lingering desire. Amid the pain of feeling abandoned, there’s a plea for the relationship to remain intact, despite the haunting memories and slow emotional torment.

New Devotional dives into the disquiet of losing control, a recurring theme that lingers in the mind like a relentless echo.  The repeated refrain in Spanish underscores the inevitability and helplessness that define their current state, painting a stark picture of inner turmoil. Next comes Self-Diagnosis, which explores a consuming and almost primal desire, juxtaposing admiration for physical beauty with an inner beast that can’t let go. The singer’s longing intensifies with every encounter, creating a relentless cycle of attraction and torment. This raw and visceral connection underscores the complexity of their emotional state.

The album concludes with Aeonian Prismatica, which depicts an unresolvable tension between love and hate, set against the backdrop of cosmic misalignment. The singer feels trapped and deprived, unable to find solace under the stars. There’s a relentless cycle of hidden despair and emotional conflict, ultimately leading to a stark declaration of departure.

As an album that weaves through its haunting themes of love, loss, and inner turmoil, Dark Fetish mirrors a journey both personal and global. “Part of this album was thought-of, produced, and worked on while I was at different parts of the world; from California to New Jersey, Portugal to Spain, which made the building process significantly more fun,” Lopez states.

Listen to Dark Fetish below, and order the album here:

Follow Twin Ion Engine:

Alice Teeple

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

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