Gothic-pop singer-songwriter Venus Blake released her debut album, The Other Side of Midnight, not long ago via Count St Germain Records.
According to Venus, “Singer-songwriters are like modern-day troubadours, wandering around the world, and writing our songs about the highs and lows of the human condition, we’re like the chroniclers of humanity, recording our own deepest experiences, thoughts, and emotions and crystallizing moments and feelings into four-minute songs.”
The album mirrors Venus Blake’s artistic philosophy – ordo ab chao – ‘out of darkness.’ While on the one hand being dark and brooding, on the other hand, the music empowers listeners with the strength to surmount the murky corners of being human.
Produced by Lex Mars, written after midnight, and recorded in a bohemian attic in the Italian countryside, the songs on the album are at once haunting and minimalist, creating lingering textures teeming with pressing emotions.
Encompassing 11-tracks, entry points include “Red Wine,” which opens on an elegant piano, followed by the entry of Venus’ evocative voice. Ethereal harmonies emerge on radiant filaments as Venus’ redolent timbres imbue the lyrics with palpable melancholy.
“Here Comes the Flood” rolls out on a jazz-flavored piano tinted with hints of alt-rock elements. For some reason, Venus’ inflection and delivery suggest gospel aromas. “Chocolate Morphine” trembles with traces of industrial essence because of the deep, resonant rhythm. The mood and feel of the song is heavy and black with aching, churning thoughts.
Commenting on “Chocolate Morphine,” Venus shares, “A song about the alienation of the modern-day world, the search for some sort of meaning or sense to it all, and the emptiness we so often feel inside.”
On “Me and the Sea,” accompanied only the sound of crashing waves, Venus entrances with her acapella delivery. The final track, “Escape,” provides lighter more optimistic aromas as Venus infuses the lyrics with the latent coloration of her desire to escape – the universal human desire, as Venus says, “to just pack all one’s things into a bag, and just ‘’drive, into the night.’”
Full of appetite for connection and meaning, The Other Side of Midnight narrates the thirst of those on the outside for context. It’s a beautiful, significant work of art.