Disorder has been

Of failing mind

The shot rings out loud

Six-hundred times

Darkwave outfit The Todds, formed in San Diego in 2020, presents a sizable strength in gothic-tinged delights. Their aim is to produce analogue music utilizing retro technology, particularly synths produced before 1990.

Their latest offering, Orwellian, is a collection of brooding, deeply political dirges, just this side of terrifying.

The album heavily borrows inspiration and style from the post-punk OGs themselves: Joy Division, The Damned, with a twist of good old Gary Numan dystopia. Sounding uncannily like Ian Curtis, vocalist Evan Applebaum delivers an emotional wallop with sincere gravitas.

Orwellian opens with the expansive “Just To Sedate”, a number about soul emptiness with shooty lasers and a smattering of Dave Vanian-style vocals in the chorus. “Freedom Is Slavery”, a nod to 1984, takes things to an introspective level; a plodding lamentation of grief. “Gloria” is slightly peppier, despite its bleak lyrics – an ode to Holiday-era Magnetic Fields. “All The Sad Young Men”, a nod to F. Scott Fitzgerald, is more of a disco tempo. The album closes with the horrifying stomp beat of “Final Solution”, which sounds like a lost Joy Division song…down to the overt references to Third Reich fascism.

Overall a great collection of songs – at once both familiar and of the present moment.

Listen below:

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