July’s kicked off with a busy start, so I’ve been struggling to find free time to author something worthwhile. So I’ll start small and work my way up and out.
Today, I’m kind of obsessed with Cold Cave’s “Happy Birthday Dark Star,” a darkly fun ’80s synth-pop throwback that harkens back to vector graphics, gothic black, and a seeming homage to the Cure’s “How Beautiful You Are.” I’m not sure about that last one. But I heard mention of it, and ever since, haven’t been able to shake the thought.
Cold Cave is the quintessential solo project of L.A.-based Wesley Eisold. He’s been digging into these darkwave depths since 2007, unearthing three albums of potent synth-fusion, moody and melodic, minimal and maximized, equal parts New Wave, Romantic, and ’80s patented Goth, with a few twists and turns in between.
“Happy Birthday Dark Star” just happened to catch my ear the other day. I hadn’t been listening to Cold Cave regularly. I think I saw part of their set at one of the FYF fests back in the day. Other than that, my connection has been slightly cold, so to speak.
But I’ve got friends that love them – and when I say them, I mean Eisold and main contributor Amy Lee, who sticks solely to the live performances.
“Happy Birthday Dark Star” is one of the tunes that makes me understand why. Taken from the latest ’21 release, “Fate in Seven Lessons,” this one counts as lesson five, which is track five to the layperson. So it’s not even the single. But it’s got this infectious, grindy groove that reminds me of like-minded peers I happen to love –The KVB, Soft Kill, and Drab Majesty, to name a few.
Cold Cave used to play regularly in DTLA, prior to the Covid shutdowns. And they’re scheduled to perform a number of upcoming gigs in the Fall, touring thru next year. I plan to see them in Pasadena at the Cruel World festival in May. But I’d like to catch them as headliners in a dimly lit theatre as well, provided the many variants don’t further disrupt the uncertain future.
I’ll leave it at that. You can check out the links at the bottom, if you’d like to know more. Otherwise, enjoy “Happy Birthday Dark Star” from Cold Cave.
“Happy Birthday Dark Star” from the 2021 album “Fate in Seven Lessons.”