Ready for a refreshing burst of coldwave in the August heat? Portuguese-Canadian outfit Morte Psíquica brings the chill with their lush new EP, O Fantasma. Recorded shortly after the release of 2020’s Suite Nº Zero, the album was a creative reaction to multiple weeks in confinement, and the unease quarantine has been causing society. It is a wonderful, timely addendum to their discography.
The four songs on the EP (three new songs and a reissue of an earlier composition) are gorgeous, bringing to mind the guitar prowess of The Chameleons and the moody, the atmosphere of Clan of Xymox, and the dark romance of Robert Smith’s songwriting. Morte Psíquica’s vibrant, baroque soundscapes benefit from a strong presence of keyboards, which adds extra sound layers to the intricate guitars. The inner thoughts of a ghostly, eccentric mind carve the vocal space, showcasing Pereira’s prominent, unwavering tone, sung entirely in Portuguese. The opening track, Domingo de Primavera, drips with emotion.
Morte Psíquica was founded in 1993 in Évora, Portugal. Originally a post-punk trio with bassist Tiago Borrões and drummer André Gato, lead vocalist Sérgio Periera struck out on his own and emigrated to Montreal in 2018. The shift across the Atlantic brought forth a new creative direction for the outfit: Periera finally wrote and performed his first entirely solo LP with Suite № Zero. He continues the streak in this strong release from Morte Psíquica, as well as creating an unexpected showcase for the Portuguese language.