A Journal Of The Dark Arts

From The Inbox: Dinner. Blood Sugar Summer. Bed.

StuffedMailbox2_fullOne of the thrilling, and completely overwhelming aspects of music journalism is the amount of mail from musicians and record labels to check out their chunes.

Of course, there’s too much to ever comment on even a small portion of it. Some of it is obvious spam, not taking the tastes and flavors of Forestpunk into consideration at all, but some of it strikes our fancy. We strive to spread the word on as much worthwhile art as possible, in every genre, and eventually, in every medium.

Like many/most music journalists, I got into this biz because I love discovering new music. I used to spend all of my free time sniffing out interesting sounds from all over the globe, and thought I might as well spread some my fervor with the rest of the world. Consider Forestpunk the field notes of a musical obsessive, wandering the margins, over hill and under dale.

This week, we’ve got new tracks from Captured Track’s Dinner, England’s Blood Sugar Summer, and Portland’s Bed.

Dinner – Going Out Tonight

Dinner - Oui album cover

Do you like the ’80s? Sure, we all do (although if you lived through them, your feelings might be a tad conflicted). But what aspect do you focus on? The hair metal heroics? The neon zap futurism?

L.A., by way of Berlin and Copenhagen’s, Dinner focuses on the weirder aspects of ’80s culture, thank Jah. Going Out Tonight blends the skewed, warped otherworldliness of Aerial Pink or R. Stevie Moore, mixed with proper New Romanticism, a la Ultravox or New Order.

Dinner’s music has been described as “An unruly dream immersed in sexual exhibitionism, un-dogmatic New Age, and perfectly measured idiocy mixed up with fumbling grandeur and awkward, arena-sized pop hooks.” In his own words, “like a sun-bleached cassette tape you’d find stuck behind your car’s dashboard – that was last played at a party in Dusseldorf in 1984 – full of echoes of sweaty depressions, spiritual longings, and early-morning trances.”

Warped. Time travelling. Romantic. Awkward. Vaguely sickly, yet still catchy and ultimately heartfelt – Dinner ticks all the right boxes. “Going Out Tonight” is the ultimate clubbing anthem for introverts and spindly goth kids, that still like to party.

Captured Tracks proves, yet again, to be one of the best sources of weird ’80s culture and remains, as ever, one to watch.

I will be expectantly anticipating Oui’s release on 9.30, with high hopes.

Dinner FB
Captured Tracks FB
Captured Tracks Official
Blood Sugar Summer – Haunted

If Dinner is the sound for getting ready to go out, Blood Sugar Summer is what you might hear at the goth club.

Not much is known about the shadowy doomwave duo Blood Sugar Summer, other than they’re British, made up of Benjó James (vocals/keys) and Jack Wilson (guitars).

Doomwave? Is that even a thing?

According to, doomwave is synth wave with elements of doom metal. With a genre like that, and a track called ‘Haunted’, you know this was going to catch my attention.

Of course, in my day Blood Sugar Summer’s would be known simply as ‘goth’, slightly updated with elements of alternative epic metal, of the likes of Evanescence. In the case of Blood Sugar Summer, this is adorned with programmed beats and slight auto-tune tracers, which casts a little bit of dark light on what has happened to all the witch house kids…

Brings to mind that video where goth kids in phat pants and raver masks dance to hip-hop.

I’m glad the denizens of the dark have musick to dance to. “Haunted” has a number of redeeming features – the drums are pretty interesting, and intricately nuanced enough to hold the attention, and the vocal delivery is obviously heartfelt. The guitars are satisfyingly thick, and it features some cool, surreal, time-travelling lyrics. Ultimately, however, the track doesn’t live up to the potential of its descriptors. Next time, skip the heroic early ’00s metal. It hasn’t aged well…

Blood Sugar Summer fb

Bed. – Wayward

I’m always excited to get an e-mail from Alex and Sierra Traeger, since the very beginning. Initial correspondence revealed a mutual love of Low and Scottish bummer band The Delgados. They emigrated to Portland from Oakland, and I am genuinely excited to have some dreamy atmospheric guitar rock in this city.

On “Wayward”, Bed. have gone more Pixies than Galaxie 500, as the track sounds thicker, fuller, and more muscular then their gauzy early material. If “Bother.” was the sound of staring out a rainy window, then “Wayward” is the sound of the roaring engine. And I get goosebumps when Sierra sings “Something’s wrong/fucking wrong”, like a siren imitating PJ Harvey. I also hear some production flourishes – ring-modulated guitars and haunting, reverbed keyboards – that I don’t remember being there before, which suggests the pair are expanding outward, increasing their arsenal.

Bed. have become a band whose singles I eagerly await, like a quarterly drip-feed. I like their gradual unfurling, but WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO COME OUT WITH AN ALBUM?!?

Alex and Sierra Haager seem to be finding a home in Portland, and flourishing in our mossy clime, and we are the better for having them. There is more than paisley-sporting hipsters in this town, I assure you.

Don’t believe me? Come out to Foggy Notion (in my neck of the woods), on Sept. 27, and dispel the myth for yrself.

You can also scope the official video for Wayward here.

Bed FB
Breakup Records

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