Samantha Glass’ newest long player, the darkly hypnotic and hallucinogenic Nine Memories Between Impression & Imprint, feels like a post-punk exorcism bathed in shadows and bitter truths. The record works its way into your brain by building songs from icy synths, electronic percussion, and Lynch-ian expressionism strewn throughout the album’s 8 songs and 40-minute run time. This is a very personal album for Samantha Glass, as they seem to be working out emotions and experiences through visceral art. Industrial noise, samples, and unsettling aural moments coalesce with deeper sections of longing to make this album one you not only listen to, but immerse yourself in.
Samantha Glass has been the ever-evolving persona of Wisconsin native Beau Devereaux for years. According to Holodeck Records, “Since 2010, Beau Devereaux has chronicled their romantic and turbulent process of self-identification as Samantha Glass through the use of electronics, field recordings and a seductive, baritone voice. Abstract soundscapes rise and fall around addictively brooding ballads and introspective monologues as Glass deconstructs themself beneath the weight of their poetry and lyrics.” Nine Memories truly feels like a deconstruction, and then a rebuilding as we make our way through. It’s like a retrospective of someone’s life displayed in some cubist diorama. It’s ever-changing and evolving in varying degrees of dark and light.
Nine Memories Between Impression & Imprint opens with “Dancing Against Reality”. It’s a sort of introductory chapter of footsteps making their way thru a long hall as a voice repeats “Always an angel…Always a dancer” before saying “Always an angel dancing against reality”. You can almost see some dark corridor, wet and humid, as a nondescript figure makes their way to the horizon. “Carriers of the Wind” has a loping rhythm and a wheezing synth as Glass’ hypnotic baritone lulls you into their dark musical world. “Putting The Male to Rest, Parts 1&2” has the sonic touches of Faith-era Cure. The Gothic, post-punk overtones give the song an darkly alluring feel.
Glass paints these black and white dreamscapes beautifully with an industrial finesse. They build these soundscapes with electronic devices and affected samples that at times feel maze-like. I feel like The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez is someone working in the same dark corners that Samantha Glass is. Darkwave, minimal wave, and industrial noise are where they both find their musical language and expression.
Not all of Nine Memories is noise and experimentation. “Cruel Anxiety” rides along a seductive rhythm and Glass’ sultry baritone, while album closer “The Carpenter In Us All” is a melancholy and beautiful track. It shows us a side of Samantha Glass that they don’t often reveal throughout their extensive discography. It’s truly a darkly beautiful song.
Samantha Glass has made a labyrinthine and darkly exquisite album. Nine Memories Between Impression & Imprint is both a personal journey of digging into oneself and discovering who is under the skin; as well as a post-punk industrial concept record. Deconstructing songs into impressionistic noise collages. It’s like staring into the void long enough that you start to see the beauty in it.
Nine Memories Between Impression & Imprint is available October 12th via Holodeck Records.
7.9 out of 10