Ayla Nero, Code Of Flowers album art
Ayla Nero Code Of Flowers album art

It’s been a good, long while since I’ve put together a For Your Ears post–which isn’t to say I am not listening to music, of course. When the day comes that I am not hunting out new sonic gratification, well, you’ll know it’s because I am dead or something.

Previous installments: For Your Ears (midsummer 2016) // For Your Ears (August 2015) // For Your Ears (June 2015) // For Your Ears (April 2015) // For Your Ears (March 2015) // For Your Ears (February 2015) // For Your Ears (January 2015) 

See below for 10+ (it’s actually more like 13) fantastic bandcamp picks that are currently in heavy rotation ’round these parts. What are you listening to right now? Anything you think I should add to the list? Link me in the comments!

2016 Halloween-themed offering from VHS Glitch, full of ambient dark synth and reminiscent of such gems as Ghoulies or Night of the Demons.

Kristine Barrett’s intimate collection of experimental traditional folk music, sea shanties, & hymns from Ireland, Scotland, America, & Iceland.

Golden Garden’s particular blend of mystical, luminescent dream pop, an “invocation to the warrior queens and the enchantresses, the mystics and the misunderstood.”

Ethereal, evocative, and entrancing new offering from Ayla Nereo, an artist who makes music with a love for the earth, a devotion to our planet.

On Gramarye, Lotus Thief’s atmospheric post-black metal, space rock and ambient sound is inspired by and brings life to ancient texts, secret grimoires and forbidden rituals

Mournful balladry, pure and furious, revelatory and unsettling, from Emma Ruth Rundle (whose earlier work, Some Heavy Ocean, was also excellent)

What do we call this guy? Neo-folk? Post-punk? I find King Dude’s stuff simultaneously starkly morose and strangely catchy, and I couldn’t agree more with the reviewer who notes that this is probably what “rock and roll sounds like in hell”.

I can’t have a list like this without some melancholy piano tinklings. This offering from Murcof x Vanessa Wagner is moody and minimal, dreamy and delicate.

A singular and entirely heartbreaking concept: this album features the sounds from the journey The Caretaker will make after being diagnosed as having early onset dementia. Each stage will reveal new points of progression, loss and disintegration. Progressively falling further and further towards the abyss of complete memory loss and nothingness.

Immensely beautiful and intensely dark; I initially found her through Katie Metcalfe of Wyrd Words & Effigies recommendation

Blackgaze darlings Alcest’s Kodama is heavy stuff, both ecstatic and sorrowful.

Still Corner’s broody, swoony, shimmering synth pop is an aural treat and Dead Blue is probably my favorite entry on this list.

Bonus

Meredith Yayanos released this new Parlour Trick track on Halloween, a 33 minute, terrifying sonic hellscape, a piece called “Wandering Room”, about which she says: “It’s… not cute. Sometimes, you have to go back to some dark and nasty places to rescue your inner child.”

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26 Oct
2016

An eerie new playlist, “For The Dead Travel Fast” is up at playmoss today & brimming with strange and beautiful music from my/your favorite horror films. 💀

There are 62 disquieting melodies here, so this is definitely long enough for your Halloween friends & fiends & guests & ghosts to enjoy through the witching hour and beyond. 💀

{image: Simon Marsden}

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16 Oct
2016

Secret Spaces

categories: music

Secret Spaces from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

A new 8tracks mix, inspired by sunlight dimming in autumn’s shadows.
{Image credit: Matthias Lueger}

Track list:
Our Love Will Carry On by King Dude | Wound Of The Warden by SUBROSA | What finds me by True Widow | Marked For Death by Emma Ruth Rundle | Stranger by Miserable | from mound to mound by stroszek | Lovesick by Mayflower Madame | Whispers by Ayla Nereo | Margo by Haroula Rose | Gold by The Handsome Family | Familiar by Agnes Obel

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A Love That Casts No Shadow by EC Steiner

There must be something exceptionally splendid and special in the air right now (or could it simply be that we are now in the month of October– the most wonderful time of the year?) My beloved friends are really outdoing themselves with regard to their current creative ventures and artistic endeavors, and I wanted to take a moment to spotlight, (for all of my twelve readers, haha) some of the remarkable things that are available right now from these dazzlingly brilliant visionaries.  See below for an array of outstanding projects and collaborations resulting in needful things of the most enticing and uncanny sort.

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Whispering Death by Becky Munich

Munich Art Studio and Casketglass Art have teamed up to celebrate a month of haunted days by releasing an extremely limited set of art prints inspired by the mystery and magic of Halloween. An intimate experience, only 20 print sets are available for purchase and will not be re-released, and in honor of the joyously macabre traditions of the Halloween season, each order is shipped with additional ghoulish treats for you to keep or share with others.

Order the 2016 limited edition Halloween art print set here

 

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For the scented tapophile: in what will be an on-going collection, the new Haute Macabre + Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab collaboration is launching with two new fragrances, Burying Point and St. Louis #1. Made exclusively for Haute Macabre by master perfumer Elizabeth Barrial, the collection is based on favorite cemeteries around the world; the first installment features St. Louis #1 (drooping Spanish moss and crumbling marble, sweet olive blossom, 13-year aged black patchouli, and offerings of Bay Rum, Florida water, and tobacco), located in New Orleans, and Burying Point (damp clusters of brown patchouli, dried maple leaves, black sage, spikenard, and curled, misshapen mandrake roots), the oldest cemetery in Salem.

Purchase Burying Point and St. Louis #1 here.

 

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Two beautiful new pins are available for pre-order from our friends at Wormwood & Rue!

DAWN: Our hard enamel pin featuring a white hare wreathed in morning glories is 49mm (1.9″) tall and finished in gold plating.

DUSK: Our hard enamel pin featuring a black hare wreathed in glow-in-the-dark moonflowers is 49mm (1.9″) tall and finished in nickel plating.

If you choose to pre-order them individually they are $10 a piece, or you can get the set for $20.

 

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Friends who have visited our house and wondered at the ghostly chamber music and dark, dreamy sounds we sometimes haunt you with? It’s Meredith Yayanos‘ eerily beautiful music from The Parlour Trick’s Blessed Unrest album …and right now you can get the digital version on bandcamp for a mere $6.66–OR!–you can pre-order the vinyl repress (which you should do, because it will sell out in the blink of an eye!)

Purchase both digital and physical copies of A Blessed Unrest here.

 

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Visit Haute Macabre to read the introduction to the bloodmilk Book Club for this season, with Sonya Vatomsky’s “Salt Is For Curing” as the current selection. Also included in the post are two special giveaways: one, a chance to win a copy of Sonya’s book, and a second, a chance to win a jewel from the bloodmilk shop. The giveaway runs until November 1st, so there is still plenty of time.

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As you know, we sold out of the Occult Activity Book Volume Two even faster than anticipated! Neither this volume or the previous will ever be re-printed or re-created, so if you missed out on the opportunity to purchase this rare tome full of fantastical arts and word witchery, you will never again have another chance. HOWEVER! Don’t summon the demons to do your freaky time travel bidding just yet! Our friends at Haute Macabre are giving away one deluxe edition of The Occult Activity Book Volume Two, which includes the book and all the goodies. If you missed out on this exceedingly special project and are hovering at cusp of committing dire and dangerous magical crimes to acquire one for yourself, why not enter the giveaway instead?

 

AND, a few upcoming things that you need to keep an eye out for!

 

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Artist: Dana Glover

Morbid Fantasies is a richly illustrated reader’s guide to Gothic literature, guiding fans both old and new over the ever-changing face of this most ghoulish of genres. In its pages, scholar Jack Shear covers the history, key themes, and major books in the Gothic movement from its inception through the current day. It’s a love letter to this often misunderstood and under-appreciated form of entertainment, hand-bound and designed by Tenebrous Kate with featured illustrations by Dana Glover, Becky Munich, and Carisa Swenson.  I hear this may be available as soon as next weekend, so be sure to check over at hereticalsexts.com to grab a copy for yourself!

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California sprawls across a multitude of landscapes and has amassed a history full of the strange and unusual. There are secrets in the desert. Secrets in the cities. Strange and unusual happenings in the odd, dark places of the coastal state.

Strange California is 26 tales of strangeness, lavishly illustrated, that will pull you into another world, a world where migrant girls stand up to witches who live in orange groves, where trickster magpies try to steal souls from Russian sisters in the early days of Fort Bragg, where water is both currency and predator, and Gold Rush-era ghosts wander the streets of San Francisco alongside panther ladies.

I am particularly excited about this book because writer friend and fellow blogger Patricia Lundy of Something Eldritch will have a story in it! Back the book over on kickstarter here.

 

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header-ambient

There are certain times–early mornings, late nights, studying, or writing–where I prefer my music with a minimal amount of stimuli. No data, no information, and especially no words.

Sounds that become so deeply a part of the background, to the extent that that they are now the space within which you exist. Music which summons imagery and energies that both unnerve and entrance, and engages the mind in such a way that the listener is transported to realities outside the confines of their own space and time.

For example…

A cavernous alien construct, floating through the void of space. Industrial creaks and groans, the monstrous pressure and eerie whistle of wind through airducts. The bleak dread as you contemplate the cold stars, utterly alone. The stark terror that besets you as strange, hollow sounds reverberate and echo throughout the craft, the deep bass and unnerving thrum of a heartbeat much heavier and older than your own.

A dark moon, a murky invocation. Dense shadows and fog, the low drone of wordless chants dwindled to a buzzing murmuration. The rattle and reedy thread of dying breaths. Desperate howls and unearthly shrieks as the veil of night is rent in twain with a vision of the unnameable. The sound of things that may best remain unknown.

Or if you please: lying alone on a darkened hillside, surrounded by enormous weather-worn stones, these rocky behemoths stretching to the midnight sky, humming with ancient power. The wind sighs an indeciperhable threnody through the trees. Between the earth and the moon lies you, a conduit for all things beautiful and terrible, vibrating with those simultaneous realities.

If you find yourself sufficiently creeped out but perversely intrigued by these menacing, melancholic scenarios, it may please to you know that there are musicians similarly inspired, whose creations fall into the dark ambient genre of music. Sounds of eerie abstraction, dissonant drones and resonances, and unsettling snatches of melody, evocative of solitude and horror and even an austere bliss. Should you wish to hear more, continue reading for my personal map through the realms of sinister soundscapes and sonic oblivion. There are obviously many more artists than are listed here who fall into this category, and there are many different pathways upon which to summon the glooms. Begin your journey with these five ghostly transmissions from the abyss.

Lustmord

Widely credited as the originator of the dark ambient genre, Lustmord’s Brian Williams has worked with inconoclastic industrial acts such as Throbbing Gristle, as well as contributing his own brand of unsettling sounds to countless cinematic scores. The persistent creep and shadowy paranoia of O T H E R was my first introduction to his eerie œuvre, and while everyone is certainly entitled to a favorite, this album remains my go-to for an evening alone, manifesting dread and drinking deeply of the dark.

Kammarheit

Swedish dark ambient project Kammarheit’s The Starwheel was re-issued in 2016, and offers lush, deep drones and gentle washes of reverb that produce an effect nearly spiritual in its unexpected profundity, and perfect for conjuring meditations upon the immense night and one’s very small place in a universe quite vast.

Bohren & der Club of Gore

German ambient/jazz crossover Bohren & der Club of Gore describe their sound as an “unholy ambient mixture of slow jazz ballads, Black Sabbath doom and down tuned Autopsy sounds.” Evocative of a lounge-noir, Lynchian atmosphere, the solemn mood and lumbering melodies produce a nauseating unease in the listener, and yet with repetition lulls us with its slow, soothing dullness, narcotic in quality, and a luxurious balm for the senses.

Kreng

Enigmatic Belgian artist Kreng (Pepijn Caudron) is an avant-garde alchemist of sound and maybe about whom the less we know, the better– and as far as dark ambient albums go, Kreng’s Grimoire is as spooky as you can get. Ominous strings, brooding horns, and creaking percussion ratchet up tensions to an unbearable, nearly punishing degree, and combined with guttural breaths and operatic vocals, creates a disorienting cacophony, a feverish nightmare from which you fear you may never wake.

ɗʉɭʈ

I’m not certain there is much known about the audio/visual/performance project known as ɗʉɭʈ. A meditation on dark mysticism, medievalism, and the macabre, and inspired by Irish mythology, old ritual and nature, it draws its energy from the inherent esoteric elements in all that is ancient and wild, sacred and savage. And indeed, when one hears this excerpt from “LeftHand in thee Dense Thicket,” one perceives something weighty and full of inconceivable gravity, and gets the sense that they are listening in on the birth of the gods, perhaps even the amniotic fluids of the cosmos itself.

(This article was originally posted at Dirge; the site is now defunct.)

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7 Aug
2016

The safest place to bury a body from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Title inspired by the poetry of Sonya Vatomsky and the art of of Stellar Leuna.

Track list:

You Disappear, La Luz | DRIVE YOUR CAR, L.A. WITCH | Female Trouble, Thee Tsunamis | Okie Dokie Doggy Daddy, Lala Lala | Night Sound, Prom Queen | Reposession Man, The Vallures | Eat You Alive, The Delphines | Fuck Marry Kill, Daddy Issues | The Future’s Done, The Lad Mags | La Sirena, Bombón | Cràpula, Les Mortettes

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4a81688fc04e53b6b70186aad9c60585Stunning knitted portraits are made of yarn and generated by an algorithm

luisacasati-banner-textGreat Moments In Historical Sluttery: Marchesa Luisa Casati, Living Work of Art

secret1 Gothic Cinema in the ‘40s: Doomed Romance and Murderous Melodrama

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Mailing things just became way more awesome with the immortal Amazon glory of the Wonder Woman stamp. (h/t Archie McPhee)

For folks who loved the Stranger Things score…

bc571st …and a reading list for everyone who is now obsessed with Stranger Things

California-Pipevine-Swallowtail-Butterfly-Tim-WongSan Francisco man singlehandedly revives a rare butterfly species in his own backyard (h/t Angeliska)

13707776_1232872423422588_1905765554343510684_nPoetweet makes lovely poetry from your ridiculous tweets! Well, “lovely”. (h/t Melissa)

MakeupAltarforDirge Makeup Magic: Beauty as Ritual, Empowerment, and Reclamation

A poem about your lipstick
Spinning, Seiðr, and Witchcraft (h/t Dawn)
Color palettes based on classic films
A fragrance so delicious you could drink it: perfumed cocktails
10 haunted Florida cemeteries (h/t Dustin)
The Demonization of Empress Wu
Trick Photography: Photo Manipulation Before Computers

 

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20 Jul
2016

things i loveFor a while now I’ve been wanting to do another Stinkers & Duds post but oddly enough, there’s really been nothing I’ve hated enough to include in a round-up of loathesome stuff.
I guess that’s a good thing?

Instead, here are a few things I have really been enjoying lately.

Le Baume Absolution has a concentrate of Marula, Perilla and Calendula in it and is absolutely fantastic, but whatever– I would love this lip balm for it’s chubby, stubby, easy-to-fit-in-the-hand shape, regardless. It is a wonderful formula, though–not too greasy or too heavy, and not mentholated (which is a huge NOPE for me.) This is, without a doubt, my favorite lip product ever.  I have already replaced it three times now.

L.A. Splash Studio Shine Lip Lustre in Catrina is a gorgeous deep brown base color with a strong metallic blue-green shift, or at least that’s how it is described, but on me, this is definitely less of the beetle-winged color and almost straight-up shimmery green-blue.  Also, you may never have to re-apply this stuff. It doesn’t fade, it doesn’t wear off. Hell, you can barely even get it off your face. (Hint: I use this stuff and a really scrubby washcloth).

Ear Scoops! Yes, yes, I know–we’re not supposed to be sticking anything in our ears. But there’s nothing quite so satisfying as cleaning the gloopy, glunky stuff out of our ears with a q-tip, after a shower, right? That’s what I thought, but then I read this and was immediately intrigued and had to stock up. I’ve already had one weird scare, but I’m an idiot and won’t let that stop me. I’m gonna stick things in my ears and there’s really nothing you can do about it.

The Uncanny Valley by Perturbator is both eerie and energizing and is full of aggressive retro-synth and jazzy noir and groovy bits and I yeah, everyone I know is over this 1980s sci fi/horror sound, but I can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s perfect writing music if you need some melodic noises in the background but you don’t want someone distracting you with a bunch of lyrics. *See also: thisquietarmy’s entire discography.  It’s different sound (ambient/drone/post-rock), but perfectly suited to this use.*

Sunday Riley Luna Oil is a product I have mentioned before, but it’s really just that good.  Advertised as a “next generation retinoid oil [that] reduces pore size, improves appearance of damaged skin, and helps fight wrinkles.”–it’s basically a nighttime vitamin A treatment oil.  It gets mixed reviews for the ingredients (here’s a list), the price, the blue tint, but I wake up with the most velvety skin after having applied it before bed. When I run out I would love to find a more cost-effective version of this stuff, but for now it is pretty amazing.

Satanic Panic has got Kier-La Janisse’s name attached to the project, so I already love it, but how does this sound? “In the 1980s, everywhere you turned there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the “Satanic Panic,” was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons & Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons and TV talk shows —and created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, music and literature. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s aims to capture the untold story of the how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved.”

I am only a few pages in, but I am already deeply engrossed.  The link above is a pre-order on Amazon; I got my copy directly through the publisher, but I think that version is sold out now.

Wow. I just realized there is no perfume on this list! I think it’s because I am testing a bunch of stuff right now and I’m not ready to talk about any of it yet, ha.
What’s got you excited lately? Books, musics, perfumes? Tell me all!

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A Virgin Among the Living Dead, 1973, via Honey From A Dark Hive

Aural transmissions & melodic missives for your ennui-filled, overheated midsummer days.


Sparkly etherpop from dreamy duo Golden Gardens

 


Contemplative, piano sighs & spells from Ben Lukas

 


Lesley Flanigan’s Hedera is your soundtrack for the still after the storm

 


Hypnotic, bewitching dream sounds by way of Estonia.

 


Sonic ephemera from Jason Van Wyk

 


Sweeping gothic grandeur from Nicole Sabouné

 


New apothic doom from Skeleton Witch like a knife to the throat

 


Ominous, dreary and non-danceable. Just how I like my music.

 


Jazzy Norwegian instru-metal

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