The Font of All Human Knowledge tell us that Thomas Hardy originated the term “cliffhanger” in 1873 when he left a protagonist from one of his serials literally hanging off a cliff at the end of a particular installment. But of course, as the great Font reminds us, the cliffhanger as a plot device goes back much, much further, at least as far back as the One Thousand and One Nights, in which Scheherazade narrated a series of stories to King Shahryār for all those years of nights, “with each night ending on a cliffhanger, in order to save herself from execution”.
And since then, the cliffhanger has been a tried-and-true hook across a range of artistic media where bringing the customer back is the main objective. Think of how often you’ve seen season-ending cliffhangers in TV and on-demand series, or encountered them month-after-month in a comic book series, or been left dangling over the edge in a novel that makes you wait for a sequel. It works, even though it’s frustrating.
Why the hell, you may ask, is he droning on about the “cliffhanger” device??? You will find out soon enough.
In popular culture, vampires shun the sunlight like the plague, and erupt in writhing columns of fire when exposed to it. This is a myth, of course. Apart from a sensitivity in the eyes, which can be ameliorated through the use of goggles, vampires fear the daylight no more than you or I. They feel a powerful hunger and a thirst upon rising, but those appetites are easily and quickly quenched without hunting, because vampires think ahead. But with a full stomach comes the desire for a nap, even so early in the day… and naps lead to dreams of the hunt… or perhaps other memories… or perhaps twisted fantasies barely tethered to reality… or maybe this is no dream….
And why the hell, you may ask, is he going on about vampires??? Wait and see….
Almost three-and-a-half years ago I described the music of SVIN as “magic”. And that was before I heard their 2016 album Missionær, for which “magic” is too tame an adjective; that it was recorded in Iceland might have had something to do with that; but regardless, if you haven’t heard that album you should put it on your mental list of things to do today, right before “remember to drink water, eat food, and go to the bathroom”. Just bookmark this page so you can go there as soon as you finish listening to what we’ve got for you today.
What comes next from SVIN, I wondered after hearing Missionær? We’re about to find out, because a new SVIN album is on the horizon: On September 21st of this year the band will release their fifth full-length, Virgin Cuts, on Mom Eat Dad Records.
The questions about where SVIN would go from Missionær probably aren’t going to be answered by any one track off this new album. If you’ve heard Missionær, for example, you’ll know how wide-ranging SVIN‘s creations are and how difficult it is to predict what will happen following the track you’ve just listened to. The guessing game is further complicated when all you can hear is what we’re about to stream.
SVIN tell us this about “Cuts” (the cut from the new album that we will eventually… very soon… offer to your ears):
“‘Cuts‘ marks the first release of music from SVIN as a trio. It is the first single of the forthcoming album Virgin Cuts, out September 21st. The video depicts the archaic tale of decay and lust that man has struggled with forever and the song reflects the dark vibes of the dystopic underworld as dracula-chords from the keyboard merge with almost hip-hoppy drumbeat and psychedelic guitar-patterns.
“The video is the second in a trilogy with the third and last coming in late 2018, and draws clear references to the first video featuring the song ‘Maharaja‘ from 2015.”
Yes, of course I’m going to include that earlier video for “Maharaja” — the song from their 2014 self-titled album, which introduced me to SVIN‘s music (both videos were made by Mathias Winther Kjeldsen). But you’re going to be left hanging anyway….
A tone pulses urgently… shimmering keyboard sounds arise… ominous notes, snare cracks, and the thump of the bass drum reverberate… the volume swells, becomes cacophonous, subsides, swells again… the frenetic bowing of a violin and frantic voices torque the tension… what comes next?
We may have to wait until September 21st to find out
MOM EAT DAD RECORDS: