GHLOW Announce debut album ‘Slash and Burn’
Set for release 02 April via PNKSLM Recordings
Russian-Swedish duo GHLOW have announced that their debut album ‘Slash and Burn’ will be released 2nd April 2021 via underground icons PNKSLM Recordings. The album is a thrilling clash of punk and electronica that fizzes with a furious energy and is telling of its creators’ unique musical and artistic journeys. Its first single ‘Hold On’ sets up dramatic juxtapositions of sound, which are indicative of the album as a whole.
This raucous effort is teaming with this fierce appeal and almighty angst. “Hold On” delivers the dirtiest notes that fill this dramatic exploration. Glitches and vocal manipulation assist to the dynamic experimental territory. GHLOW consume you, this vast soundscape they’ve crafted showcases biting harmonies clashing with an abundance of tweaks, tones, and piercing notes working up to a powerful crescendo. Whilst this contrast is found from the soaring vocal notes that ensnare the urgency of this vision.
For Emille de Blanche and Nikolay Evdokimov, their first album as GHLOW represents a rebirth. Both are multidisciplinary creatives; de Blanche works primarily in sculpture, whilst Evdokimov is a tattoo artist. Both have colourful musical backgrounds stretching back decades; de Blanche is a former child prodigy violinist who took up the instrument at the age of two, while Evdokimov, a Russian native, formed his first, politically-charged bands in the early nineties, against the backdrop of the fall of the Soviet Union.
“We came up with a lot of ideas we wanted to develop,” explains de Blanche of their initial union. Her previous bands had seen her turn her hand to everything from post-rock to hip hop. “We realised that, together, we could pursue them. We both wanted to experiment. There had always been weird, genre-bending stuff we’d wanted to try out in previous bands, but we couldn’t get whoever we’d been working with to go with it. Now, we could just put all of that away and follow our instincts.” The division of labour is equal across the board; de Blanche handles vocals, bass and the band’s art direction, with Evdokimov on guitar, synths, drum machines and production duties.
GHLOW share influences too, running the gamut from Dead Kennedys to The Prodigy, as well as fellow Swedes like revered post-hardcore outfit Breach and doom metallers Switchblade. They agree, though, that their joint outlook on music runs deeper than that: “It’s always been about emotion and passion, for me,” says Evdokimov. “That’s more important to me than genre. I have to understand the outlook of the artist; I need to be burned by it a little bit, almost.”
de Blanche’s razor-sharp lyricism blends the personal and political to stirring effect, and ‘Slash and Burn’ could be read as a cutting treatise on Sweden in 2020. She’s keen to leave the interpretation to the listener, though, and the pair insist that her words are only one part of what is a scorched-earth mission statement – a manifesto announcing a powerful new moment both for themselves and for rock music.
“There’s a rawness and a violence to ‘Slash and Burn’, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” says Evdokimov. “It’s about starting again. You might be chopping things down, or setting fire to something, but that’s a reset – something positive comes out of the flames.”