Oakland-based dark synth-pop duo Primal Wound have dropped a dystopian banger with their new single, “When in Rome” (Manimal Vinyl).
Veiled between the worlds of pop and mystic experimental sounds, Primal Wound’s hypnotic, cavernous reverb joins forces with multiple ‘spirit angels,’ as Charlemagne Charmaine calls it. The band blasts us with a sound they christen “Gnostic dreampop”—with aural surrealism in the vein of Siouxsie, Kate Bush, and Enya….”Enyacore,” if you will. Meanwhile, Paul Korte channels Robert Fripp with heated guitar work. Suicide and Primal Scream also find themselves in the band’s influences.
The song. “When in Rome”. is a commentary about our time, as perpetual streams of information attack our minds on a daily basis from multiple channels. It’s a playful approach to a serious topic.
“When in Rome is about conformity in an algorithmic techno-Babylon, becoming nothing but a follower, and not knowing how to lead anymore or create your own divine destiny.”
The dreamy, cyberpunk-themed video, directed by Jacob Hiss and Tri Le, is a collaboration with NYC darkwave choreographer/dancer Neil Swartz (aka 80sb.a.b.y ) and Hector Invictus Lopez, depicts a person who has lost their identity and life’s purpose in a dystopian society where everyone “cheats death” by plugging their souls into a computer.
With clips from the material world of 1984-era commercial television bombarding the viewers, the video is an Orwellian testament to mass media brainwashing and promises of immortality, drawing people into a deadly quicksand of mind control. A man is trapped in a virtual reality, completely taken over by corporate fascism.
“Our protagonist is infiltrated in an infinite purgatory of media and staticky tv ads telling them what to be and how to think,” Charlemagne Charmaine explains. “Their journey is one of autonomy, self-discovery, and spiritual liberation.”
Backed by Manimal Vinyl, Primal Wound have previously released 4 singles, with two more also self-released. The new-age wave duo are set to release their next full length later this year.
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