You were in the fire forever
Waiting for your chains to break
You were in the fire forever
With nothing left to take
Oakland’s Still Ruins, which includes Frankie Soto, Jose Medina, and Cyrus VandenBerghe, have recently released their debut self-titled EP, a record that serves as an intriguing blend of Dream-Pop, New Wave, and Post-Punk. The record reimagines the essence of these classic 80s sounds, offering a contemporary flair that melds perfectly into the retro atmosphere currently permeating the underground music scene.
Rich in soundscapes and heartfelt vocals, the EP echoes the styles of China Crisis, Choir Boy, ABC, Spandau Ballet, and early Tears For Fears while maintaining a unique identity. Each of the five tracks skillfully combines engaging melodies with fluid rhythms, resulting in a cohesive and immersive listening experience.
The album kicks off with the poignant track Silhouette, immediately immersing us in a poignant moment, where a person’s presence strikes us profoundly, yet from a distance. It hints at the possibility that they’ve lost faith in the situation and are willing to trade their identity for a chance at redemption. There’s a palpable longing and a glimmer of transformation within these shadows. Next comes the lead single, Perfect Blue, setting itself apart with its refined elegance, profound emotional depth, and an aura of contemplative composure. The song’s message revolves around someone who attempted to go unnoticed but left an enduring imprint. Despite their absence, the hope persists that they might reappear…at the speaker’s discretion.
Next comes a plea for intimacy and honesty, yearning for comforting moments in Until Then. We all seek assurance of love’s arrival, despite its past trials. Promising unwavering patience, one must grant time for the other to find direction. The lyrics echo the hope of a future filled with love, trust, and understanding.
The lyrics of the poignant Of Devotion delve into themes of disconnection and abandonment, capturing the struggle to grasp a semblance of reality and seek healing. They convey a deep yearning for someone who has traversed a challenging path, awaiting liberation and experiencing a profound sense of being forsaken. This emotional turmoil becomes evident as the singer contends with their inner feelings and the gravity of their past experiences.
Directed by Eli Wengrin, the video for the track is a delightful glimpse of the band by the seaside, shedding the protective armor of pretense. It exudes a pure 80s synthpop nostalgia, embracing a mellowness that harks back to the ambiance of a homecoming dance in 1986.
The final track on the EP, Left Against, expresses a sense of persistence and commitment. They see themselves as the entertainer, always trying to bring joy to their partner; willing to endure hardships and remain accessible. It’s a beautiful reminder of enduring dedication and a willingness to reciprocate, even during difficult circumstances.
Still Ruins’ debut self-titled EP is out now on Smoking Room (Vinyl/Digital) and Cercle Social Records (Cassette).
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