As a follow-up to their 2012 full-length, Strange Bruises, the Vancouver new wave quartet Mode Moderne return with their forthcoming release, Occult Delight.
Comparable to iconic post-punk acts like The Psychedelic Furs and Joy Division, Occult Delight is a mesmerizing effort that captures the beauty and innocence of the genre. With a title that perfectly fits the tone of the band’s melancholy sound, listeners will enjoy the musicianship found on this album from beginning to end. Introductory song “Strangle The Shadows” opens with a traditional bassline and coordinated drum pattern, which gracefully follows with soft yet dreamy guitar tones. These traditional elements in musicianship can also be distinguished in dreary and melodic songs like “Unburden Yourself” and “Thieving Babies’ Breath.”
One interesting quality about Occult Delight is Phillip Intile’s unique vocal variety throughout the record, which provides an odd twist to each song. While one might point out shades of Ian Curtis-like queues in standalone songs like “Grudges Crossed,” “Severed Heads” and “She, Untamed,” Intile charmingly alternates back and back forth vocally with Morrissey-esque harmonies in tracks like “Occult Delight,” “Dirty Dream #3” and “Baby Bunny.”
Packaged together into one charmingly enchanting full-length, Occult Delight provides synthpop lovers young and old with infatuating qualities that will make them weak at the knees. Musically and vocally, this is a captivating release that genuinely maintains the aesthetics of the new wave genre while providing an exciting twist in sound.
Overall, Occult Delight is a record that truly personifies a lively resurgence of new wave and post-punk. While comparisons to these iconic groups are found, Mode Moderne could potentially stand alone with established acts like Interpol, The National and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart as the next upcoming group to carry the torch.
In A Word: Blissful