Old Dark House is the duo of Corey Brewer and Andrew Crawshaw. Their sound is that of haunted electro pop, meaning songs that sway like the best of early 80s alternative with a twist of Gothic darkness, and a voice that brings to mind Leonard Cohen and The Walker Brothers. Brewer’s sultry baritone is surrounded in Crawshaw’s spectral electronics, which gives the music a vibe that’s part Scott Walker and part Depeche Mode.
On February 19th Old Dark House will release their debut full-length LP Welcome Home. The band has so far released singles “Through The Trees” and “Sky Parlor”. Today the duo release “Helga Ulmann Speaks” as their final single release before the February 19th album drop. To coincide with that single release Old Dark House have put together a video for the track, which locks into the nostalgia of going to the cinema and the sights and sounds that go with that experience.
Singer Corey Brewer explains more about the track and video:
Old Dark House’s song “Helga Ulmann Speaks” was inspired by a monologue in Dario Argento’s 1975 film ‘Deep Red’, in which Helga, a psychic, reads an audience to tell them trivial details about themselves; what pockets their keys are in, etc, when she is suddenly mentally assaulted by a psychotic killer sending her threatening thoughts. In the aftermath of these visions she describes the killers thoughts as “cruel, & childish”. I spent a lot of time thinking of the anthropomorphic form of death not being a scythe carrying robed figure but a child, full of unchecked impulses & misunderstood wants. Childish as in seeming simple but with undervalued insight.
The accompanying video for the song is also inspired by cinema, specifically scenes in films in which people go to the movies. Cinemas greatest fan is cinema. In a 2020 reality in which no one can go to the movies with out the spectre of death looming over the event, I wanted to create a moment that would evoke the feeling of sitting in a movie theater and all that goes with it. Sharing snacks, whispering to friends, kissing a date, or being alone in a crowd.
As you watch the video for “Helga Ulmann Speaks” you’ll recognize various film clips. Some of the clips included are from films such as Taxi Driver, Messiah of Evil, Demons, It Follows, True Romance, Ed Wood, Donnie Darko, The Departed, and Barton Fink to name a few.
The track is deceptively gorgeous, with Brewer’s vocals swaying you into calm. But underneath the pop exterior the song works a sort of Gothic magic with sonic touches that give the impression things aren’t as they seem.
Brewer and Crawshaw have made a song and video that locks into the nostalgia of the cinema experience, while also giving us something quite unique and buzzing with a complex and dark creativity.
Watch the video for “Helga Ulmann Speaks” below. Preorder the limited edition vinyl copy of Old Dark House’s ‘Welcome Home'(album art and design by Eric Adrian Lee) here. The album drops on 2/19/21.