Trying to build a box big enough to contain the massive genre defying sound of Black Bordello would take 10 Da Vinci’s their whole lifetimes just to design the bloody thing. This 5 piece art rock band produce a sound that falls somewhere between Kate Bush, The Cure, and Joy Division and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
The track begins with an atmospheric ghostly shambling through the church graveyard song the track exists in. The soundscape soon erupts at the tip of a fuzzy little sliding riff on the guitar. It’s quickly joined in by the undulating unique vocal melodies that skitter delicately over the top.
When it comes time for the chorus it explodes in terms of power and sonic urgency but it saves something even bigger for a little further breakdown on the end. The soundscape is layered, rich, intricate, and filled with beautiful little flourishes and ordered chaos.
The vocal duties take on this choral quality fluctuating in pitch and key to let each melody twist in unexpected ways. Lyrically the song speaks of the gentrification of sacred and personal spaces such as Nunhead where Sienna would seek refuge visiting family members before the space was invaded by tourists.
Black Bordello have been building a reputation as a must see live act and even in the recorded track you can feel a buzzing energy that bursts through in powerful passages. The structure may not sit prettily into the expected norm, but it allows the chorus to come in sharper, the breaks to hit that much harder.
Black Bordello put the art back into artist. It’s thoughtful, poignant, poetic, and powerful.
Words by Matt Miles