It’s out at last. The music from Sacred Skin’s highly anticipated debut album The Decline of Pleasure has finally been released to the masses, via NYC label Synthicide. It is well worth the wait: this album hits every New Wave sweet spot: anthemic pop music with strong lyrics and authenticity.

Sacred Skin is not a band of time travelers, but rather Brians DaMert and Tarney. Sacred Skin formed in the spring of 2020, with the aim to spark a musical awakening beyond the plastic pop of the modern era, and they sculpt rich cinematic synth scores with the wistful twinge of nostalgia and deep emotional connection.

Their use of vintage gear, including the Sequential Prophet VS and the EMU Emulator II, brings a historical authenticity to their sound- but they stand on the shoulders of giants, looking toward a new horizon of soulful sound. This is elegant, sophisticated pop that spans the worlds of 80s decadence with the wisdom of modern-day hindsight. DaMert’s voice, an intriguing combination of Stiv Bators and Julian Cope, powers through the lush synth compositions with his signature deep croon. We hear elements of everyone from Peter Gabriel (particularly in “Anathema”) to Jean-Michel Jarre; the choral elements of the late, great Vangelis, the passion of Tears For Fears, and the raw sensuality of INXS.

Standout track “Far Away” is the anchor for the whole album, an instant classic with its earnest, cautious optimism sung with a tangible feeling of grief. DaMert spoke with Post-Punk in September about the track:

“For me, I’ve always found heartbreak and loss to be the kindling on the fire of inspiration. Far Away is about a conversation I had in a lucid dream with my late father who passed away a few years ago. Life can be unbelievably beautiful and unjustly cruel. The song is about cherishing the fleeting moments we all get to share together.”

The band also recently released a video for the whirling guitar-driven anthem “Circles”.

Watch below:

The Decline of Pleasure evokes catharsis from the trials of the collective, pushing us into uncharted territory.

Listen below and order the album here.

Sacred Skin Live Dates:

  • June 3 – Palm Springs – Bart Lounge
  • June 4 – Los Angeles – Echoplex
  • June 5 – Costa Mesa – The Wayfarer
  • June 8 – Portland – Coffin Club
  • June 9 – Seattle – Madame Lou’s
  • June 10 – San Francisco – Rickshaw Stop
  • June 23 – Philadelphia – Warehouse on Watts
  • June 24 – Brooklyn – The Meadow
  • June 26 – Pittsburgh – The Government Center
  • June 29 – Milwaukee – Cactus Club
  • June 30 – Chicago – Sleeping Village
  • July 2 – Minneapolis – Dark Energy Block Party

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