TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 5 Best EPs Of 2021 (So Far)

The 5 best of 2021 (so far) according to Turn Up The Volume’s ears…

Band: DEAP VALLY
Who: The two charismatic rock queens Lindsey
Troy
and Julie Edwards from the city of angels,
Los Angeles.

EP: AMERICAN COCKROACH
Released: 18 June 2021

Turn Up The Volume: After the equal top-notch Digital Dream EP
Deap Vally shine again on this follow-up, with some help from their
friends. Put the two 4-track EPs together (I did) and you get nothing
less than the amazing amazons’ best album (so far)! A gloriously
varied and high-quality pop/rock/blues accomplishment. Please
come back to Belgium (asap)!

Stream/buy here…


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DEAP VALLY: Facebook
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Band: ULTRA SUNN (Belgium)
Who: Cold/darkwave duo – Sam Huge
and Gaelle Souflet – from Brussels

EP: NIGHT IS MINE
Released: 5 March 2021

Turn Up The Volume: Combine D.A.F.‘s industrial vibes,
Sisters Of Mercy‘s gloom and doom hallucinations and Depeche
Mode
‘s pop-noir thrills and you have the soundtrack for midnight
summer parties.

Listen/buy here…


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ULTRA SUNN: Facebook
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Band: EMPTY HEAD
Who: Up and coming hit team from Liege, Belgium. They cultivate the contrasts
and hold both the visceral intensity of Seattle’s grunge and the bewitching fever
of California’s desert rock. The resulting blatant firepower is then used by singer
Simon Galloy as a support for his dark and intimate lyrics, which evoke topics such
as dreams and delusion, introspection, and the anxiety of the passage of time.

EP: EMPTY HEAD
Released: 15 May 2021

Turn Up The Volume: From supersonic prog-punk-rock to towering primal screams
and psychedelic ax riffage, from mind-crushing paranoia and muscled turbulence to
swing moods emotions. Your ears will not be the same after listening to this full-headed whirlwind.

Check/buy EP here…


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EMPTY HEAD: Facebook
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Artist: NICOLE MARXEN
Who: Dallas-based musician and visual artist.
Known as one of the shiny dark innovators behind
acclaimed avant-garde pop band Midnight Opera.

EP: TETHER
Released: 26th February 2021

Marxen says “In many ways, it was a crucial first step in my own grieving
process and self-discovery as a songwriter. Being so rooted in showmanship,
I hadn’t explored such vulnerability in my work before. when I began to shift
my efforts inward, I found that my truth very much needed to be expressed.
The song serves as a reminder to hold space for myself.”

Turn Up The Volume: You actually can feel Nicole Marxen‘s pain of losing
her mother as titanic industrial synth wallops petrify your perplexed mind.
She wants to ease the gloom and doom impact of her dramatic loss so her
wounded heart and restless soul can breathe free again. Chelsea Wolfe is
around the corner, listening in the shadow.

Stream/buy here…


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NICOLE MARXEN: Facebook
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Artist: HANNYA WHITE
Who: Musician/modern art painter and video maker,
based in London creating an unusual combination of
the playful and the dystopian.

EP: NO PREVIEW
Released: 23 February 2021

Score: 4 love songs for those who want to explore the dark side of their
inner self by watching David Lynch movies. I’m sure Hannya White is one
of them. The way she infiltrates your worried thoughts with electro-scapes
boggles your psyche. It’s a puzzling experience. Expect the unexpected.

Chaotic music for chaotic people in chaotic times.

Listen/buy here…


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HANNYA WHITE: Facebook

Two Lights At The End Of The Darkwave Tunnel – Meet… ULTRA SUNN

18 February 2021

If you sound cool, if you look cool, if you dress cool and you have a cool EP out you must be ULTRA SUNN. Who? A Brussels-based duo – Gaelle and Sam – that loves to wander around in your head while producing dark waves causing an instant flush of excitement.

They seduce you with battering and booming beats, nightmarish sound textures, murky dynamics and ominous vocals. Combine D.A.F.‘s industrial vibes, Sisters Of Mercy‘s gloom and doom hallucinations and Depeche Mode‘s pop-noir thrills and you know this pair was born to start and end chill-out house parties. Before I put on my black leather jacket and talk to the wonderful Gaelle let us have some light at the end of the tunnel…

Hello Gaelle.
Merci for having this chat…

What’s the story behind your artist moniker ULTRA SUNN?
“It’s about light, for us ULTRA SUNN means the perfect light. The light that reveals what
is hidden and also the fights against darkness. We are proud that our songs and our band convey positive messages such as the acceptance of yourself and of the others, gender equality, victories against street harassment and victories against anxieties. We strive to
be a light in the dark, a powerful ULTRA SUNN.”

What or who influenced you to do what you’re
doing: writing/playing ‘darkwave’ music?

“The band refers to the sounds of the past but keeps in mind its desire for modernity. We’re influenced by Front 242, DAF, Schwefelgelb, Boy Harsher or Kontravoid. We like
to mix EBM and Coldwave.”

Ultra Sunn favorites: EBM pioneers Front 242

Which track would you play to introduce yourself to people who never heard of you?
“Night Is Mine is clearly the most significant track for us. The sound is really typical of what we do and the lyrics reflect our commitments.”

The new EP is a instant winner. How does it feel to have it out and what’s the feedback you got so far from fans and press?
“We’re super happy, it’s very exciting to have released this EP. We’re delighted to see that people are so receptive of the songs and that they travel all over the world in playlists, DJ sets, radio stations etc. We are so grateful for this excitement and can’t wait to play our set live!”

I love the EP’s artwork image. Does the picture tells a story?
“We came across a 17th century painting of a man with a flower in front of his mouth.
We were touched by this image. We love the contrast between flowers that are related to light but here emerge from deep darkness with us like in a Caravagio painting. Hiding the mouth with a flower is also a certain idea of silence which contrasts with music just like the coloured flowers and the dark atmosphere all around. Our dear friend Kris Parenti, who is also our photographer, was sensitive to this idea and succeeded in creating this image for us.”

So far my favorite ULTRA SUNN track is DISTRESS. What’s the song actually about?
“Thank you, glad you like it! Distress talks about anxieties and the fight against it, but
in a positive way. The way to fight is to refuse to let yourself be invaded. The video is a nocturnal wandering in the city with all that it entails: speed, noise, party, loneliness, light, contemplation, and the confrontation with yourself.”

You’re signed to a Spanish label called ORACULO RECORDS. How did that happen?
“They just heard our music and they wanted to collaborate with us for the release of this first EP and it was the right time for us to do it.”

I spotted (some days ago) a live performance video of
a track called WAVES. A great piece. Why isn’t it on the EP?

“It’s a song that we love a lot and that we love to play live. It’s a rather special moment in our set that invites introspection. For the EP, we wanted to offer pure condensed energy:
3 songs about confidence and strength. Maybe Waves will be released later on another disc, why not.”

What’s an ULTRA SUNN gig like?
Gaelle and Sam on stage with their machines and a beautiful light show. We make sure that all of our gigs are a safe place for everyone and where everybody is included and accepted for what or who they are, that is very important to us. Recently we shot a video of a live set which can give you an idea. This video will be released in the next few days.”

Lots of musicians came/come up with a cover of other artists’ songs during these bizarre times. Which one would you pick to give it your touch?
“Probably something like Duran Duran, Placebo or Depeche Mode. It actually happened
to us to cover Q Lazarus in our live set. It was sweet to say goodbye to the horses.”

Which movie would you choose to have your music in there as the soundtrack?
“Probably in a Xavier Dolan movie or in the vampire rave at the beginning of the movie Blade haha 😀 or more likely, something in between.”

Which artist/band would you really love to work with?
“We probably would have liked to work with David Bowie.
But maybe we would’ve just talked about clothes and music
and smoking cigarettes, which would’ve been perfect too.”

More new ULTRA SUNN music to come in 2021?
“Definitely yes! We are already preparing for the rest.
And we can’t wait to be able to play in concert again
and meet the public.”

Thank you very much for this interview, Gaelle.
May the road rise with ULTRA SUNN!

Stream/buy the
NIGHT IS MINE EP here…


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ULTRA SUNN: Website

Dark Wave Firework – ULTRA SUNN Stuns With Debut EP ‘NIGHT IS MINE’

2 February 2021


(photo by Kris Parenti)

Band: ULTRA SUNN
Who: Cold/darkwave duo – Sam Huge and
Gaelle Souflet – from Brussels

Work: 4-track debut EP titled NIGHT IS MINE

Score: This body-activating rave duo causes an instant flush of excitement with
battering and booming beats, nightmarish sound textures, murky dynamics and
ominous vocals. Combine D.A.F.‘s industrial vibes, Sisters Of Mercy‘s gloom and
doom hallucinations and Depeche Mode‘s pop-noir thrills and you know it’s time
for a dazzling house-lockdown-jamboree, for a mindless darkwave boogie-woogie
night is yours party, in front of your mirror.

Eletro-tastic!

Ignore reality for the next 20 minutes and
pirouette yourself dizzy to these 4 rhapsodic
strokes of intoxicating firework…


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Watch also the enigmatic video clip for the EP’s track Distress

ULTRA SUNN: Facebook