“The desire to create never diminished.” – Layla Reyna
Musician, powerful chanteuse, and multidisciplinary artist Layla Reyna is already familiar to fans of deathrock trio Strap On Halo. Now, based in Seattle with a fresh outlook on life, she branches out solo with a new outfit, Licorice Chamber, and the emotional single, “This Love is Dark”. The new single, video, and remix also serve as the lead single for the forthcoming EP, The Taste of Falling, due out in early 2022.
Reyna has already drawn frequent comparisons to the dark, visceral guitar-driven howl of Faith and the Muse, Mephisto Waltz, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and X-Mal Deutschland. Licorice Chamber fully embraces these entities with darkwave synth elements and lavish goth-pop influences, even joining forces with a guitarist on the other side of the globe.
According to Reyna, This Love is Dark was written in one sitting at her home studio. “The song is about loss and the life it leads,” she says. “Covid hit the world hard, and loss was diminishing everyone’s happiness. Everybody can relate to not wanting to let go. Love is dark, it’s heartbreak. This song is that.”
I am filled with doubt
Don’t be afraid just let go
So many times, I have tried
Just to be left in the cold
“Everything else in my life was changing but the desire to sing,” she muses. “The only thing left to do was write more music. My fiancé and I bought a house with enough room for me to set up shop. It was a tumultuous time in the world and being isolated from everyone because of Covid made life hard. Nothing else but music felt right. I got serious, wrote a bunch of songs, and then reached out to my collaborator extraordinaire, Michel Rowland (Disjecta Membra, Dreams are Like Water), who put the finishing touches on several of my songs including This Love is Dark, by adding guitar.”
“Layla presented me with what were already fully realised songs, but she wanted to add some guitars,” adds Rowland. “Her vocals and synths are already quite vast and cinematic, so I felt it was important to keep the guitars fairly unobtrusive…I also enlisted my friend Blair Wotton (Column of Sand) for ‘It’s an Illusion’. He’s a great textural guitar player, who I felt could add more sonic / tonal range and dynamic to the EP than I could on my own.”
Watch the video for “This Love is Dark”, below:
This Love is Dark and The Taste of Falling were mixed and produced by Jeremy Knox and Licorice Chamber, and mastered by Gordon Young (Children on Stun, Dream Disciples).
The digital single release of ‘This Love is Dark’ is now streaming, as well as Codename: Lola Remix: a pulsating dance floor treatment courtesy of UK musician, DJ, producer, and promoter Lee Meadows (aka DJ BatBoy Slim). Meadows is the bassist for UK goth rock band The Glass House Museum; host of The Fadeout Podcast; and (alongside DJ Martin Oldgoth) co-creator and curator of World Goth Day.
Follow Licorice Chamber: