It should come as no surprise that when we at The Honey Pop heard that Blaqk Audio was dropping a new album, especially during a pandemic, we immediately grabbed our sunglasses and found every single article of black clothing we had to put on. Blaqk Audio has been making indoor eyewear with a dark aesthetic as cool as it has ever been and that doesn’t change with their newest release Beneath The Black Palms.
Davey Havok and Jade Puget are no strangers to side projects veering away from AFI and Blaqk Audio is not quite like any other. Their other side project XTRMST, a straight edge hardcore/metal act formed in 2015 and didn’t last long enough, was much closer to the AFI sound than that of Blaqk Audio (unless of course you count some of the experimentation AFI has toyed with in some albums.) Delivering a very dark wave of 80’s new wave sounds with heavy synthesizers and, again, a heavy emphasis on dark!
This new Blaqk Audio album is being released in two parts, or Side A and Side B, on Blaqknoise records, with Side A having dropped on July 28 and Side B coming to us August 21. We have already streamed Side A more times that we would like to admit and it is safe to say that they have just about perfected their craft on this record. The entire record, according to their press release, was recorded, mixed, and mastered by the band. This adds a very personal touch to the music as the band was able to make it exactly as how they imagined it.
BENEATH THE BLACK PALMS TRACK LISTING:
“Zipper Don’t Work”
“A Distant Light”
“Burnt Babies Fear the Fire”
“I’m Coming Over”
“It’s Not Going Well” Included on Beneath the Black Palms – Side A
Now because we don’t have access to the full record just yet, we can only give a little insight to Side A. From the very start, the song ‘Consort’ immediately draws you in with a dramatic deep intro that leads us into an upbeat bright chorus. Havok’s vocals qualities are immediately present on this and for a first time listener, it would be hard for you to turn it off after this track. ‘Zippers Don’t Work’ continues to bring the heavily inspired 80’s electronic pop sounds and with lyrics like “I brought a red rose / I bought some new clothes / Help me with this shirt / This zipper won’t close,” we know you won’t be able to stop singing. Now the tone changes dramatically with the track ‘1948’ and we begin to get a much slower tempo. Don’t let that fool you though, this has to be Havok’s most impressive vocal moment on the record. Our BPM love returns quickly with the track ‘A Distant Light’ which ended up being my personal favorite on this record. Upbeat tempo, deep dark vocals from Havok, and a synth melody combined with a bass line that actually had me dancing at 6 a.m., even before I had coffee. The final track is ‘Hiss’ and is the first track that is being pushed. Jade Puget says in their press release: “Hiss’ is a lovely slice of noisy darkness….listen closely and you can hear the susurration of the palms.” This explanation absolutely nailed the sound to us and has already left us needing to hear the remainder of this record.
We felt it totally necessary to end this article with a quote from Davey Havok regarding this album because we personally felt it resonates so well with the sound and meaning of this record: “Beneath the Black Palms is an affirmation, exaltation, and momentary illumination of rich, arcane shadows fortified by blinding and rapturous light…”
Are you just as excited about this new era of Blaqk Audio as we are? Are you longing for Davey and Jade to continue giving us side projects of perfection that part of AFI sounds? If so, let us know on twitter @thehoneypop and Instagram @thehoneypop.
Featured Image Source: Ted Petrosky via Vanyaland.com