BETH RETTIG, the arresting frontwoman of former British synth act Blindness started
her solo project WHERE WE SLEEP last summer with three ambient tracks (Veins, Crawl and The First One). And last May she released her impressive 5-track debut EP, titled ‘EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK‘ featuring members of The Fall, Echobelly and Curve. Five hypnotic electro grooves, five profound contemplations, five touchy sentiments. High-quality stuff with Rettig’s sensual voice causing goosebumps.
In an interview with Turn Up The VolumeBeth spoke about how hard it is for an indie artist to record music: “It’s really hard for independent musicians to release music. I’m not
sure everyone realises how much goes into getting one song sounding right. It’s so expensive
to get songs recorded, mixed, mastered, promoted etc. and I don’t expect to make any of that cost back from whatever I’m releasing. So at one point, it did occur to me to just release singles to make it a little easier and spread out the costs a bit. But I still like having a body of work of some kind. And, at some point, I’d like to get the EP out as a physical release and that’s obviously, easier than releasing several singles.”
Not the corporate acts need your support in these scary days, it’s artists like Beth Rettig who deserve your backing because this EP is a just great piece of work and we want her back with new music as soon as possible.
Turn Up The Volume: This is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most tantalizing tracks Beth Rettig wrote/recorded in her musical journey. A slow-mo reflection on personal turmoil, driven by a repetitive bass-riff that got under my skin and kept on rotating in my head after just one spin. And when she adds psychedelic guitar pizazz and flashy fingertip touches, the bone-chilling progression gets even more poignant.
Beth Rettig‘s shadowy vocality seduces once again. To hypnotise, magnetise and mesmesize are familiar Where We Sleep characteristics I never get tired of.
The accompanying video is fully arresting. It visualizes the song’s ominous vibe and Beth‘s utterly cool presence (she just looks drop-dead gorgeous, partly rocker, partly
ancient goddess) perfectly. Subtle and eye-impressing, inventive and showy. Finally,
a clip that doesn’t attack your pupils with a tsunami of shots and arty farty effects, but sticks with the essence of the song and the artist’s spirit.
Broken Bones is a triumph in sound and vision.
You can buy ‘Broken Bones’
here below via Bandcamp.
BETH RETTIG, the imposing frontwoman of former British synth force Blindness started her solo project WHERE WE SLEEP last summer with the release of three stirring ambient tracks (Veins, Crawl and The First One). And just last week her 5-track debut EP, titled ‘EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK‘ featuring members of The Fall, Echobelly and Curve hit the streets. Five mesmerizing electro grooves, five spellbinding expressions, five mood swings. All family emotionally, yet all different sentiments. Put your headphones on, dim the lights, sit down, close your eyes and absorb these five fascinating and emotive experiments…
1. WHAT I DESERVE
A slo-mo Siouxsie like introspection dominated
by burning guitars that do your head in…
Impassioned singer/songwriter and performer BETH RETTIG, the arresting frontwoman
of former British synth force Blindness started her solo project WHERE WE SLEEP last summer with the release of three stirring ambient tracks. And last May her impressive
5-track debut EP, titled ‘EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK‘ featuring members of The Fall, Echobelly and Curve saw the day of light. Five gloomy electro grooves, five bedazzling sentiments, five magnetic moony moments, five vocal highlights.
So Turn Up The Volume is delighted to have a chat with Beth. But before starting
the Q & A let’s get in the right mood with her new clip for one of the EP’s intriguing
cuts. Here’s ‘CONTROL‘…
1. Is WHERE WE SLEEP a BETH RETTIG solo trip or rather a collaborative project with befriended musicians helping you out to translate your musical ideas and the stories you want to tell?
“It’s a bit of both really. Three of the tracks on the EP feature guitarists, the other two are just me. I’m definitely hoping to keep the collaborative element going as much as possible. There are advantages to both formats. It’s nice to have the freedom and control in working by myself – and I am a bit of a control freak. But, I’m not a good enough musician to do it completely by myself. And, more importantly, you get so much from working with other people – new ideas that you wouldn’t have come up with on your own, new challenges, different moods and directions. And that’s really really exciting.”
2. What’s the story behind the name WHERE WE SLEEP?
“I actually set up a Soundcloud page before I started this as a proper project to repost stuff that I’d been doing – not just Blindness but a couple of collaborations as well – and have them on one page. So when I decided to release new songs under this project, I kept the name. There isn’t really a story behind the name – if there is, it’s probably a really boring one.”
3. Last year WHERE WE SLEEP shared its first tracks (‘Crawl’, ‘Veins,’ and ‘The First One’). Why did they not end up on the debut EP and making an album out of it?
“I did consider that, bringing it up to an album. I suppose I ended up just feeling like, as they had already been released, they could stand on their own and I should move forward. There were a couple of other factors as well, the first two songs were mixed by Guy Fixsen, whereas the others have all been mixed by John Cranmer. I wasn’t sure if they’d sound right together. Also, the five songs on the EP, for some reason, just seemed right together in my head.
It’s really hard for independent musicians to release music. I’m not sure everyone realises how much goes into getting one song sounding right. It’s so expensive to get songs recorded, mixed, mastered, promoted etc. and I don’t expect to make any of that cost back from whatever I’m releasing. So at one point, it did occur to me to just release singles to make it a little easier and spread out the costs a bit. But I still like having a body of work of some kind. And, at some point, I’d like to get the EP out as a physical release and that’s obviously, easier than releasing several singles.”
. 4. Do we need to take the EP’s title ‘EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK’ literally?
“I’m not one for talking about song meanings but I guess a little of all the above.
The title of the EP is obviously taken from the name of the last song. I just really liked
the title for the EP as well. It seemed to sum up the mood of it. And Experiments In The
Dark was the first new track that I wrote for Where We Sleep, before Where We Sleep was actually going to be a thing. It was the first new song I’d written in a while.”
5. I really dig the artwork of the EP, especially that very intriguing ring.
What represents or signifies that beautiful ornament?
“I don’t know that it signifies anything really. I have a bit of a thing for images of lizards.
I don’t know why. I really liked the ring and once I’d messed around with it, I just liked the image and though it worked well as a cover. “
6. ‘The Desert’ is my favorite track. Great swagger, great guitars, great vocals. Sounds also very personal. Will you share with us what it was that you wanted to express in that song?
“Again, I’m not that great at explaining songs. But I really like the imagery of driving through the desert night. I grew up in Africa and one of the things that really makes me yearn to be back there, is huge open spaces and skies. I’ve often felt quite overwhelmed when I’ve seen images of those endless skies and vast unpopulated plains. Even more so when I go back there. It wasn’t something I was conscious of when I wrote The Desert, but once it was written it was obvious that that nostalgia and need in me has found its way into some of my music.”
. 7. The title track deals with anxiety and a sort of claustrophobic fear when
being left alone? To me, it resonates like a universal feeling in these troubled, egoistic times we live in again the past few years. Do you agree?
“I don’t think that’s wrong – I think a lot of people are struggling to navigate the complexities of our current times. Experiments In The Dark certainly has a thread
of helplessness running through it.”
. 8. Does this new project mean that your former band BLINDNESS is over?
“So, Blindness ended in 2016 when I left London for a while, although we released the Monsoon EP, which we had already been working on, the following year. That’s how it is at the moment. I wouldn’t say that’s definitely it, because you never know, but we haven’t got any plans to do anything.”
9. What movie would you pick to visualize the EP’s
music on a big screen while playing?
“I actually don’t watch a lot of films anymore. But I guess it would be something dark, dramatic and visually beautiful. Something involving dystopia and rebellion.”
10. Next step for WHERE WE SLEEP?
“I’m hoping to do an album next. I have some songs written, one or two that I can start thinking about getting mixed. I have a few ideas about people I’m hoping to work with
on some of the other tracks as well, which I’m quite excited about so I’m starting to think about first steps for that now.”
Thank you for this interview, Beth.
May the road rise with WHERE WE SLEEP!
Stream/purchase EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK here…
. WHERE WE SLEEP: Facebook / photo on top by Nando Carniel Machado
(photo by Nando Carniel Machado / received via Beth)
Beth Rettig, the notable frontwoman of former British electro act Blindness started her solo project WHERE WE SLEEP last summer with three strikingly ambient tracks (Veins , Crawl and The First One). Now she presents brand new track THE DESERT from her upcoming debut EP, entitled EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK.
‘The Desert’ is an electrical groove with an intoxicating beat that creeps under your skin instantly while a harrowing guitar sends shivers down your spine. On top of it comes Rettig‘s mystifying vox. Splintering passion is at play here. ‘I destroy myself / There’s been
no-one else.’ Similar spellbinding sentiments as in Garbage‘s soul-stirring ‘Beloved Freak’. Haunting score! Absorb the gloom right here…
Last year WHERE WE SLEEP, the solo project of British artist BETH RETTIG
made a captivating impression with touching debut EP Experiments In The Dark.
And today she dropped a new haunting meditation on Bandcamp.
If you were looking for a song that reflects these surreal science-fiction-like times,
then THE END OF THE WORLD is the one that fits 2020 perfectly. It’s a slow-burning electro-scape, both ominous and menacing although Rettig‘s shadowy voice resonates
as she wants to comfort the person(s) – close one(s) – who’s/are angry and scared.
Before you’re aware of it the enigmatic reverie vanishes in the silence, like a ghost.
Last year WHERE WE SLEEP, the solo project of British artist BETH RETTIG made a
lasting impression with the electro-touching debut EP Experiments In The Dark.
Today a new song popped up without any fuss nor pr-noise, pure Rettig. Everybody Leaves A Mark is a mournful reverie about leaving people behind, an introspective
ballad about fear of failure when it comes to commitment in a relationship. “We could
only ever disappoint each other”.
Musically it’s a captivating experience from the intimate piano intro to the haunting
finale with atmospheric strings synths. Rettig’s woeful vocals cause goosebumps and reflect sorrow, inability to connect with others, and hurtful tristesse. The troubling sentiment of Everybody Leaves A Mark makes you silent and musing. A delicate accomplishment reminding you of R.E.M.’s hit ‘Everybody Hurts‘.
A stream of rattling rippers, jagged jams, and magnific musings
All 20 on Spotify.
. TRACK BY TRACK
Band: GILLA BAND Who: Raw Irish post-punk projectile New album: Most Normal,
their third, out on out 7th October.
Dara Kiely (frontman man): “The lyrics are from a stream of consciousness rant, weird imagery and all that. The track is about attraction – fancying someone and not knowing what to say exactly. It’s an indirect love song, knowing you like someone but can’t quite articulate it.”
It follows the character of Billy as he loses his job, his house, his wife and kids, and ultimately maybe his life. After pursuing everything at all costs, we follow Lehman brother’s banker Billy as he chronologically loses everything throughout the worst day of his life, after the bank collapses and everything just keeps going wrong.
Be ready to jump up and down, left and right. This not-so-happy song sounds terrifically happy. A riveting pop tune that could come straight from a Yungblud album. If this devil-may-care earworm doesn’t make you go gaga I don’t know what will.
Turned-on guitars and Oberti‘s quick-fire vocals – on the cracking
chorus he goes as fast as a rapper – inflame this straightforward
standout. From bankrobber to bankrocker.
THE BANKROBBER: Twitter – Instagram
(photo by Sandra Ebert)
Band: MODERN WOMAN Who: London-based act that began as the songwriting project of Sophie Harris.
The band’s music, still based around Harris’ songwriting, explores a diverse range
of sounds drawing from their melting pot of influences.
Following their splendid 2021 debut EP Dogs Fight In My Dream these up-and-coming gunslingers score again with their new sassy bass/drums motorized and guitar-spiced stunner, extra energized with Sophie Harris‘s clear-cut vocals and a schizo finish. They should get the same attention as Liverpool‘s sensation The Mysterines. NOW!
MODERN WOMAN: Facebook
Band: THE KILLERS (Los Angeles) Active: Since 2001 / 7 studio albums
Brando Flowers (frontman): With ‘boy’, I want to reach out and tell
myself, and my sons, to not overthink it. And to look for the ‘white arrows’
in their lives. For me now, white arrows are my wife, children, my songs
and the stage.”
The tunesmiths experts do what do best, writing
lyrical anthems for huge stadiums.
Boy, oh boy.
THE KILLERS: Facebook – Instagram
This slow-mo reflection on personal turmoil is driven by an ongoing bass-riff that got under my skin and kept on rotating in my head after just one spin. And when Rettig adds psychedelic guitar pizazz and flashy fingertip touches, the bone-chilling progression gets even more poignant. Her shadowy vocality seduces once again. To hypnotise, magnetise and mesmesize are familiar Where We Sleep characteristics I never get tired of.
With The Speed this Belgian darkwave duo invites you once more to get off your
lazy couch, to dress black and head to the nightclub where they are waiting
to make your booty shake to their ghostly bass synth riffs. Nirvana guaranteed.
Jodie: “How It Is, the recurring tale of getting messy with your mates to escape from the standard 9 to 5 working life. This track celebrates the poor life choices made after deciding to go for a drink with your friends/colleagues and the chaos and amusement experienced along the way. “
It’s only Langford‘s third single.
This new one is a brisk clap-along groover with an instantaneous swaying
impact on your hips. Could be the ideal remedy when trying to get out of bed after
a 48-hour weekend revelry and shake your hangover off. Sheeny synths, hip-hopper Marx‘s jaunty contribution, and the zestful chorus, it all comes together seamlessly.
Band: TUHAF (Copenhagen, Denmark) Who: The fusion of different types of musicians and all kinds of genres
– Anatolian folk, indie rock, free jazz, Danish traditional songs and US
roots rock – wondrously merges into the sound of TUHAF. The band is
fronted by Turkish-born singer Berrin Bas.
New single: HAFLA
From their debut album ‘Mere Guld’,
out this Friday.
Berrin: “‘Hafla’ is about celebrating oneself. It is dedicated to Bicop (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and everybody
can join the party.”
Hafla is a sensual groove with an exotic Eastern vibe. Its ongoing vibe
gets you, slowly but surely, into an elevating trance, while Berrin Bas‘s
vocals add a mesmerizing touch that works as a magnet.
Everybody is invited to Tuhaf‘s politically progressive party to celebrate
diversity with them. Music has the power to unite people. We all should
use that power to get together and respect each other as humans without
any kind of discrimination. Tolerance of diversity is the one and only key
to live together, side by side.
The marvelous black & white video will help
you to get in the right mood to dance…
Jordan Speare: I wrote “Hey Stacey” for a friend of mine named Stacey, who also just
so happens to be one of the best people I’ve ever met. I remember when we first met, she
had mentioned how she hated whenever she’d meet new people, they would always make
a reference to that Fountains Of Wayne song “Stacy’s Mom” – she would joke: “it’s not funny
and my name isn’t even spelled that way!” I thought that was hilarious, so I wrote this song especially for her, with her name spelled correctly, of course.
Jingle jangle pop at its exciting best. Hey Stacey is a steamy swinger with all
cylinders rollin’ all the way. It’s sticky as first-class glue and you can sing
the chorus to your lover.
Check the vibe.
. BURN THE LOUVRE: Facebook
The slowest and moodiest piece on the LP. But as intense
and fanatical as their hard-screeching-core missiles.
STICK TO YOUR GUNS: Facebook – Instagram
Photo Credit: August Wolfe
Band: REIGN MAKER Who: Australian prog rock band formed in Melbourne, Victoria in 2020.
Reign Maker is the collaborative project of passionate, activists who weave
politically charged, social commentary throughout their songs to raise
awareness and give voice to a wide range of current issues faced
in the world today.
The band take a stance here against racial discrimination and
police brutality needlessly taking the lives of innocent people.
This mighty-powered and impassioned ballad blows your mind in sound and vision.
Its metallic sonority and its titanic fervency send shivers down your spine. Astonishing.
And the monumental heart-and-soul cutting vocals are just flabbergasting, making me think of the haunting voice of Tarja Turunen from Finnish metalheads Nightwish. Midway, when the decibels go sky-high, the delirium increases to a jaw-dropping level.
Get the picture? Yes, this is a towering stonker
with an aroused impact. Touchdown.
Don’t be a stranger, press play
and get overwhelmed.
Right here, right now.
. GATHERING OF STRANGERS: Facebook – Instagram
Band: ERASE ME Who: Sludge pop band from Phoenix, Arizona. Their songs cover the gamut of topics but are often driven deep into what it’s like to be piece a of desert trash blowing through gentrified downtown phoenix landscapes, just tryin’ to survive.
Expect a hugely catchy guitar booster with a head-spinning cadence, an electrical rush, and elated vocals As short as a Ramones song. For some reason, my ears tell me that this could be Pavement if they would write a pop tune as silver-toned as this one. Sounds like kick-ass fun, right? You betcha
JOAN OF ARKANSAS: Facebook
(credit: Bianca Petris)
Band: THE CASE Who: Firm 4-piece from Romania who started their journey in 2012, always
refining their rock & grunge sound. On their creative process, the band reckons
they “tried to create a space where originality prevails, to detach themselves from
the current musical cliches while glorifying their lord and savior David Bowie.”
“‘Fever’ is about the passage of time, about the failed attempts to correlate the quality of
a relationship with its duration and intensity. The song is about happiness, sadness, breakup, and forgiveness. It would be love if we were to associate our new single with just one word.”
This is a mind-magnetic and slow-burning sonic torch. Sounds both riveting and piercing as American alt-rockers The Afghan Whigs did/do so impressively for years. The Case develop a similar sensation of vivacity.
A cast-iron winner.
THE CASE: Facebook – Instagram
Band: THE TRUSTED (Southend-on-Sea, UK) Who: Formed in 2016, making music with strong melodies and catchy hooks. Being inspired by the new age Brit-rock bands like The 1975 and Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Trusted have made their own unique sound by the fusion of post-punk and punk energy with a little hint of modern rock.
“A song about being abandoned by the good guys.”
It was composed during lockdown. The band couldn’t write together
face to face. The creative collaboration went through computers.
Smooth synths, and gently weeping guitar lines take you immediately
on a dreamy head-in-the-clouds trip that moves slowly, heading to an
epic climax. Stylishly composed, greatly arranged.
A bittersweet symphony.
A romantic beauty.
THE TRUSTED: Facebook
Amy Walpole (vocalist): “As our first album we’re really excited to just
get it out there. We feel that it’s a step above what we’ve done before as
we had a chance to experiment with sound and structure. It was our first
opportunity to explore writing a body of work which was challenging but
has been so rewarding!”
The lyrics of ‘Congregation’ were largely inspired by singer Amy Walpole’s
experience of growing up in a Charismatic Church, a form of Christianity that
emphasises the work of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts and modern-day miracles.
She left the church when she was 16, and her parents followed suit two years
Turn Up The Volume: This is a slow-burning torch, a dark-colored belter, an excorcistic outcry resonating like Nightwish in scary slow-motion with a continuing riff penetrating your hypnotized mind, driven by frustration and anger following domination by spirit-filled beliefs. Walope‘s vocals and scorching guitars inject this furious serpent of a song with overwhelming grimness. Holy shit. Metaltastic.