“The result on “Communion” is an intensely atmospheric sound, moody vocals taking center stage over propulsive drums, but the high point has to be when the drums and vocals drop away, allowing a memorable guitar line to unfurl around the song’s midpoint.”
– Pigeons and Planes
“With lyrics of things ending and “shadow dance”, guitars twanging like metal reeds in ice this is all very early New Order, with funkier bits all John Foxx at A Certain Ratio disco. But there’s enough here, largely in the electronics, that makes this more than just retro darkwave.”
– the Quietus
Having previously collaborated on numerous projects and having released material on labels such as Kitsuné and Palms Out Sounds, Swedish four-piece Oracle North are currently getting ready to release their debut EP. Drawing inspiration from life-embracing warm and ambient soundscapes and colder forms of new-wave and punk; their new EP moves around themes as loss and alienation but never hits a dead end, rather a supposition for rebirth, for becoming your own origin.
As a complete entity ‘Communion’ is both a distinct and consummate release, which when broken down calls to mind the sounds of New Order and the Manchester post-punk scene, whilst seamlessly applying osmotic pressure in the form of darkwave textures and 80’s influenced electronic sections to merge and create an EP full of rich yet dark, atmospheric colours and an orchestrated bohemian individuality.
Dark but uplifting vocals take centre stage in tracks such as ‘Communion’, supported by post-punk instrumentation that occasionally experiments with shoegaze almost rose-tinted bass and guitar lines. Elsewhere tracks such as ‘Lykeion’ and ‘Pacific’ conjure up the imagery of an early Led er Est or even Oppenheimer Analysis. All the while this is consistently infused with cold-wave yet post-punk-driven melodic synth sections which calls to mind the idiosyncratic but very appeasing sounds of Tangerine Dream and Durutti Column, The EP is clearly very deeply rooted in both post-punk and new-wave indie heritage, but it never feels like it’s borrowing too heavily from either. For every familiar sound there is an original counter-point which catches you off guard in the best way possible.
Talking about their forthcoming EP, the band said, “I think our music is touching on subjects like estrangement and existential anxiety, which is expressed through some sort of yearning for a more primitive experience. Aesthetically, we’ve been inspired by equal parts Greek mythology; the Dionysian, Apollonian dichotomy and so forth, and the late 70s, early 80s DIY culture. And Can… and Suicide.”
Oracle North are only just getting started, but as a debut EP ‘Communion’ begs to be listened to again and again. Spanning various eras of indie and electronic music history it holds its own, safe in the hands of four band members who clearly love, and are very focussed on what they are creating. ‘Communion’ sees Oracle North join the new wave of electronic-indie music, the only difference is that they are sonically individual, this is a band that won’t be lost in the haze.