In the midst of an unparalleled gothic revival, Los Angeles-based musician and producer Mareux, also known as Aryan Ashtiani, stands as a beacon of light, guiding listeners through the dusky realms of post-punk and darkwave. Today, Mareux unveils his captivating debut album, Lovers From The Past, released through Revolution/Warner Records. This sonic journey incites a wave of intense, sensual thrills, painting a rich tapestry that ignites the imaginations and daydreams of an ever-growing legion of fans.
Mareux’s seductive tales of unfulfilled desires and ghostly lovers inhabit the shadowy borderlands between slumber and consciousness, entrancing those who dare to listen. His haunting narratives of unrequited yearning and spectral romances linger in the twilight realm, enchanting and bewitching his audience. The profound and evocative vocalization of Mareux pulls listeners in, weaving a mesmerizing tale that transcends time and space.
Embracing the essential link between past and present, Ashtiani is on a mission to bridge the gap between generations: “I want to be the conduit that introduces younger audiences to older subcultural genres.” With Lovers From The Past, Mareux illuminates the dark corners of the music world, carving a path for both new and seasoned fans to explore the mysteries of the kind of songs that united outcasts within the fog of a dreamlike dancefloor, blurring the boundaries of what is now, and just a memory.
The album opens with the gloriously noir “Night Vision.” The lyrics seemingly convey a sense of romance – phrases brimming with infatuation, fervent passion, and yearning – yet, when juxtaposed against the backdrop of a strip club in the accompanying video, they take on an unsettling, ominous, and predatory tone. The enchanting performers gracefully spinning around their poles are simply executing their profession: providing illusions to the isolated and disheartened. However, beneath this surface lies a void, and the impassioned words mirror the twisted dance of carnal appetites distorted by objectification.
“Glass” feat. King Woman is a sombre breakup song. The vocals barely crack a whisper as Kris Esfandiari of King Woman confesses, “I’m not coming home again.” Their twilight exchange breathes wisps of yearning and remorse, encapsulating the subtleties of a post-midnight separation. This interaction flourishes both as harmoniously captivating and poignantly melancholic. The song’s frosty synths throb akin to strobe lights, hovering above the duet and gliding over a crisp, syncopated rhythm. King Woman’s celestial, spectral vocals seamlessly meld with the ominous sonic landscape encircling them, akin to a wraith roaming the night in pursuit of the elusive solace and closure that may never materialize.
The mesmerizing title track “Lovers From The Past” melds raw, foreboding vocals with a pulsating bassline and an eerie ambiance, epitomizing a nocturnal ode to unfulfilled longing and the specters of bygone romantic recollections. This composition tells the tale of being tormented by an extinguished love and the incapacity to progress. Steeped in the essence of film noir, it wades through the mire of inebriation at the bar, in a desperate attempt to obliterate the past. The eerie, mournful synth background is reminiscent of the riff from The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”…paired with the general malaise of some of the best of Molchat Doma.
“Killer” alters the atmosphere slightly, as a menacing arpeggio propels the narrative, with Mareux’s voice oscillating between mournful cries and foreboding murmurs. The track transitions into “DTLA,” a discordant, shadowy disco rhythm evocative of the Knight Rider theme – amalgamated with a forceful industrial undercurrent – forging an impeccable cadence for a nocturnal drive through the city streets.
“Little Lies” blankets an assortment of luminescent keys over an irresistible bass groove, presenting an icy production that pulsates powerfully through the speakers. The mesmeric melody accompanying this proclamation is a formidable fusion of seductive, ominous vocals, a relentless bass rhythm, and a disquieting ambiance that crafts a memorable nocturnal hymn. The song resonates with an eerie echo of anguish, exuding a cinematic film noir atmosphere, where the dimly-lit bar provides solace, and one too many cocktails offer the only escape. “Little Lies” holds a more profound truth within its intricate web.
The uncannily surreal “Heaven On Earth” ensues, exuding a strikingly askew aura reminiscent of a Molly Nilsson-meets-Dirty Beaches fusion. This progression ushers in “Diosa,” an additional celestial powerhouse featuring reverberating vocals. The album culminates in the introspective and tender track “Hurt.”
“For me, Lovers From The Past marks the first time that my work has been organized in a very intentional and curated way,” concludes Mareux. “It’s taken me over a dozen years to get here from when I first began writing music. It’s the absolute best bit of my creative qualities and storytelling. I love setting the mood and this album is incredibly moody. I hope it can inspire and connect with my fans for years to come.”
Mareux’s debut album displays the prowess of a musician adept at evocative songwriting, boasting an abundance of infectious hooks that easily captivated TikTok with a wealth of sound samples. This exquisite creation leaves us eagerly anticipating their next artistic endeavor.
In support of the album, Mareux will be kicking off a headlining global tour tomorrow with stops in Los Angeles, New York City, Berlin, London, and more.
Purchase tickets HERE.
May tour dates:
- 6 – The Nile – Mesa, AZ
- 8 – Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
- 9 – The Parish – Austin, TX
- 10 – Deep Ellum Art Company – Dallas, TX
- 11 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX
- 12 – Santos – New Orleans, LA
- 13 – Underground Atlanta – Atlanta, GA
- 15 – Black Cat – Washington, DC
- 16 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
- 17 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
- 18 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA
- 19 – La Sala Rossa – Montreal, QC
- 20 – Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON
- 21 – El Club – Detroit, MI
- 23 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
- 26 – Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
- 27 – Soundwell – Salt Lake City, UT
- 6 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
- 12 – Soup – Manchester, UK
- 13 – Headrow House – Leeds, UK
- 15 – 02 Academy Islington – London, UK
- 16 – The Lanes – Bristol, UK
- 18 – TivoliVredenburg, Grote Zaal – Utrecht, Netherlands
- 20 – Liquid Club – San Gwann, Malta
- 21 – L’International – Paris, FR
- 22 – About Pop 2023 – Stuttgart, Germany
- 23 – Reithalle – Dresden, Germany
- 25 – Urban Spree – Berlin, Germany
- 26 – Klub U Bazyla – Poznan, Poland
- 27 – Niebo – Warsaw, Poland
- 28 – Zascianek – Krakow, Poland
- 29 – Pop Messe 2023 – Czech Republic
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