Drab Majesty – Modern Mirror

American darkwave/dreampop duo Drab Majesty have released their third album ‘Modern Mirror’. Coming off the back of an impressive sophomore record in ‘The Demonstration’ the duo crank up the 80’s nostalgia and make it feel more contemporary than it ever has been.

With producer Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv/The Black Queen) on board, how does the record stack up compared to its predecessors?

Opening track ‘The Dialogue’ starts with a synth line that helps to carry the song throughout as keyboardist Mona D helps set the stage for what’s to come. Deb Demure’s vocals help to give the song an uneasy feel of dread that almost feels like it belongs in a 70’s/80’a eerie TV series.

The second track ‘The Other Side’ is the longest song on the record and layers the instruments very well. Shoegaze guitars, programmed drums and classic synths, along with both Demure and D sharing vocal duties help make the song more hopeful lyrically than the other tracks on the album.

‘Ellipsis’, one of the singles released from ‘Modern Mirror’, fires the nostalgia back up, with its Depeche Mode vibe and melancholic lyrics.

‘Noise Of The Void’ takes us up to the halfway point of the record and is classic Drab Majesty. The Drab Majesty that most people would probably associate with. It has a dark pop quality and both the synths and the guitars are great. This is definitely one of the albums standout tracks.

‘Dolls In The Dark’ has an infectious drum beat, that complement Demure’s vocals well. ‘Oxytocin’ has a guitar riff, that carries the song throughout and a synth-line that helps to flesh out the sound alongside the incredible vocals of both Demure and D.

‘Long Division’, another single from the record, is my personal favourite. It’s a blissful number reminiscent of acts like Slowdive with the lyrics drawing upon heartbreak and loss.

Album closer ‘Out of Sequence’ fetures special guest Justin Meldal-Johnson holding the song together with a fuzz like groove. The song combines elements of post-punk with a darkwave sound that provides an incredible conclusion to the record.

So while the duo still have the gothic image that has given them much mystique and prominence, ‘Modern Mirror’ showcases an act that can present elegant and rich pop songs, driven by beautiful vocals, nostalgic synths, and immersive guitars. I cannot wait to see what they do next.

Hassan Ul-Haq