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Hello darkness, my old friend

Weekly5・Edition #10 | New songs by ZUSTRA, Grundeis, Goblyn, Minoa, and Deine Lakaien.

As always, I first welcome the new members to our small community of music enthusiasts. If you haven’t already, check this page to learn more about Weekly5 and its values.

Last Tuesday, I sent out the very first special edition, featuring five songs that inspired The Beauty of Gemina’s Michael Sele. Creating the edition was a lot of fun, an opportunity to dive a bit deeper into a particular artist.

I hope you enjoyed it as well. Please let me know if you would like more editions like this.

I’m deeply grateful that the newsletter already has double the audience than back in its days with the online magazine Negative White. The next special edition will be inbound when Weekly5 reaches 250 subscribers.

Today will be straightforward and pure. Five news tracks you should give a chance. Just a quick reminder before we start: You can always find the new songs in the Weekly5 playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

This edition brings you soaring darkness, blunt anger, and bittersweet beauty. But first and foremost, it showcases promising outfits that are at the very start of their careers. Today, we are not only discovering new music but also artists.

ZUSTRA – Back to Dark

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, an aquatint by Spanish Francesco de Goya, is the centerpiece of Back to Dark. The Croatian-German songwriter ZUSTRA interprets the dreadful image in her latest work. “The dream of reason creates monsters,” she sings. The Dream of Reason will also be the title of her debut album, coming this autumn.

Back to Dark is about a trade-off between reality and dreams, and the question of which is actually the more fatal illusion: following a fantasy or believing in one’s own sanity,” she explains.
And how does this idea sound? Simply put: It’s a soaring epos of nightmarish proportions. ZUSTRA, lately selected as one of the most important newcomers in 2021 by Berlin magazine ‘tip,’ demonstrates her potential and shatters any doubts.

Back to Dark punches black holes into your stomach, consuming every ray of light. The buzzing synthesizer cuts through reality like a chainsaw. And when the single gets calmer, the world seems to freeze in time. Back to Dark is a stunning cinematic experience.

Grundeis – Vain

Hamburg is shivering when Grundeis start to play. The unspent band, fronted by singer and guitarist Laura Mueller, released their debut single, Bleach, back in November. And there’s no doubt: If Weekly5 existed back then, the track would have been featured. “A propulsive track imbued with a whirl of multilayered guitars that drive forward an intensely melodic hook overlaid with tenebrous vocals,” wrote

On Friday, Grundeis honor us with a second song, Vain. Although less aggressive than Bleach, the new single is even more drowning in despair. Mere darkness, imposed by a melancholic post-punk, sometimes exploding in noisy moments of desolation, while Mueller’s vocals haunt your soul. Vain is tearing you apart from the inside.

The recommendation is crystal clear: If you’re a fan of the 80s’ gloomy musical underbelly, Grundeis is a band you should have on your watchlist. Especially since their debut album Amygdala will arrive soonish.

Goblyn – Wet Dogs

In the beginning, there was silence, then came anger. Wet Dogs starts off with a harmless bass line and suddenly erupts in a rambling, noisy track. That’s an auspicious start for the next quartet domiciled in Hamburg. Clearly more punk than post, Goblyn’s Wet Dogs is a tour de force.

Wet Dogs sounds angry for a reason. The song describes the struggle with the psyche. “This feeling of being completely lost and powerless in such a situation, I think, occupies more people than most want to admit. You are simply powerless in the face of it all,” says Johannes, the band’s singer.

The promotional material for the debut single of Goblyn states that their “sound is a modern wish child of an inglorious liaison of the B52s, Hawkwind, and the Sleaford Mods.” And actually, that’s pretty much the perfect description of their musical inspirations.

Minoa – Strangers

Born in Huston, Texas, Minoa was raised in a village near Hannover. Today, the artist lives in Berlin, the self-proclaimed cultural navel of Germany. However, her debut single is echoing her global past. Strangers may very well be the start of a promising career.

Strangers explores a doomed relationship, in which the partners have left the togetherness a long time ago, living their separate lives. Captured by the memories of a once beautiful past, the former lovers move towards the ultimate abyss – not knowing whether the katharsis actually awaits. “When you go left, I go right,” Minoa sings.

It’s a drag perfectly recreated in the music. The song sluggishly creeps forward, and you feel trapped in the relationship’s inescapable labyrinth. Towards the final, Strangers has risen to an alternative rock song that’s reminiscent of bands like The Cranberries.

Deine Lakaien – Dust in the Wind

Who remembers Dust in the Wind by the US progressive rock band Kansas? The song released back in 1978 was the only top ten hit by the outfit. Today, the song is – together with Carry on Wayward Son – still one of Kansas’ evergreens.

On Friday, the German avantgarde duo Deine Lakaien released a fantastic cover version of this rock classic. Alexander Veljanov and Ernst Horn, who have been creating stunning sounds since 1985, have already covered Because the Night, written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith.

Deine Lakaien have managed to transport their unique sound on Kansas’ biggest hit. Obviously, Veljanov’s charismatic voice and intonation contribute the lion’s share to the interpretation, while Horn is creating the signature musical foundation. It’s a beautiful and intriguing update to this ballade.

That’s it for today. Well, almost.

I’d like to thank Moritz, who recommended St. Vincent’s new track Pay Your Way In Pain, and Kusito, who regularly sends me his proposals for Weekly5. Although their recommendations didn’t make it in today’s edition, I highly appreciate that they think of me.

All the best,