“There is a literal depiction of a woman undoing the work of man as the timeline shifts from the red contrast to its normal state. But have we gone too far?”
Deathrock darlings ESSES have instigated a riveting, emotional outing with their latest single. Gloomier and heavier than ever, the Oakland, CA group extracts reverb-drenched energies with bone-rattling drums, haunting melodies, and stoic basslines. Together with the bewitching songwriting, the piercing yet evocative vocals of Miss Kel help the tracks conceiving their destined mental image. Now, they unleash “Before The Blight”.
“Before the Blight” was written prior to COVID, but one could make an easy connection to the desire of going back to life (in most aspects) prior to the pandemic,” says bassist Scout Leight. “We aren’t sure how Kel was able to foresee the desire to ‘send us back before the blight’ that later became the year 2020, but we are definitely paying attention to her warnings moving forward!“
The video depicts an alternate timeline where at one point a decision was made by man that sent us spiraling down our current experience. The red contrast is the moment that decision was made, and the destruction that has ensued based on man’s impact (represented by footage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake).
Kel is seen trapped between the timelines as man compounds his efforts and sends us plummeting further down this forsaken path, corrupting the hearts and minds of humankind. Kel later appears as a glitch in the timeline, corrupting the Systems of Man to reverse these efforts.
Watch Before The Blight below:
“Before The Blight” appears on their sophomore album, Bloodletting for the Lonely, which centers around the topics of mental health, memory, and trauma, roaming unconscious space and the world around which we cannot escape. With archetypal imagery, the record interprets the psychology of moving through this comatose space, as two separate beings inhabiting the same body.
Formed in 2014, ESSES has gradually become one of the pillars in the Oakland and San Francisco underground. Encompassing elements of deathrock and dark post-punk shrouded under a veil, ESSES captures an atmosphere that is intimate and intense at the same time. The Oakland five-piece —featuring current and former members of Altar de Fey, Black Ice, The Phantom Limbs, Red Voice Choir, and The Holy Kiss transcend in live performances with surreal and sublime vitalities.
Bloodletting For The Lonely is due out August 06 on digital, vinyl, and CD formats. Atakra Records (US) will issue vinyl, and Bat-Cave Productions (Poland) will release the record on CD and vinyl. Listen here:
A Twitch TV Visual Album Release Livestream party, hosted by Davey Bones of New Music Mondays, takes place on August 4 at 8:00 PM PST. ESSES will be premiering their new album, along with nine exclusive music videos, visualizers, interviews, live sets by DJ Miz Margo and Adrienne Scissorhands.
Photos: Kevin Brown
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