Bristol’s Emily Breeze With a Dark Pop Masterclass
Make no mistake, this is what dark pop should be like. A mishmash of dream-pop, synths and darkwave, Emily Breeze’s latest track ‘Work’ has elements of Disintegration-era The Cure. There’s shades of ABIIOR-era The 1975 here too. It’s not the most experimental track you’ll hear all year, but it has enough about it to make an emphatic impact.
There’s something almost unsettling about Breeze’s vocals – she entrances and enthrals in about equal measure. Over 4 minutes and 20 seconds, she goes from soft and mellow at first to showcasing a rougher style later on in the track. She’s got the sort of versatility that lends itself to a track spanning multiple genres.
Inspired by Patrick Bateman of American Psycho, it’s a look at the chilling negatives of modern society: antidepressants, late capitalism and the rest. In general, contemporary artists just don’t tread where Breeze does. If they do, the lyrics risk becoming trite. There are sort of vintage Hollywood vibes here, but not in a cocaine-and-Chanel, Lana del Rey sort of way. Darker, more alluring, it’s something else entirely.
As ‘Work’ reaches its conclusion it becomes heavier with a pulsating drum beat and Breeze singing in an ever more forceful manner. What started as synthy darkwave becomes a masterclass in post-punk. It remains to be seen if Breeze can continue this form on upcoming album Rituals, but we wouldn’t bet against it based on this showing. In short, we might just have ourselves the next Siouxsie.
‘I’m a music and culture journalist currently based in the West Midlands. Always on the lookout for up-and-coming artists but my favourite bands include IDLES and Arctic Monkeys. Probably last seen at a gig.