Blending post-punk and new wave influences with darkwave, California’s Harsh Symmetry, the project of musician Julian Sharwarko, paints darkly danceable soundscapes while simultaneously courting nostalgia and revivalism.

In his debut single “Mirror Twin”, Sharwarko delves into the idea of losing sight of one’s self, and the fear of being lost in egoic darkness, but at the same time fearlessly forging ahead. With expressive vocals recalling Cindytalk and an oeuvre overall evoking Getting the Fear, Into a Circle, and classic 4AD via Clan of Xymox (think the Medusa version of “Blind Hearts”), the mesmerizing track is a glorious paradox of optimism and melancholy.

Julian Sharwarko

Sharwarko expertly conjures a dreamy synthesized backdrop, punctuated by plaintive guitars, creating a call-and-response effect. The harmony of the sonic elements creates a cavernous, foreboding feeling, but blessedly free from gloom or reflection. The poetic lyrics are beautifully highlighted in this track, blending the emotional wellspring of This Mortal Coil and the passion of Brighter Than a Thousand Suns-era Killing Joke with the pathos of Lowlife.

“It’s a song that deals in dualities, both in theme and sound,” he says. “Lyrically, the subject moves forward with their life’s work and the search for identity, while dealing with the fear of being lost on the way.”

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