Bunch Of Fives: Wax Heart Sodality | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Mysterious, masked garage rockers, Wax Heart Sodality follow up their storming debut single, Alphas, with their new offering, Hoodwinked, a sinister and incendiary slice of bluesy, post-punk. The song, which was produced by Mouses frontman Stephen Bardgett, lashes out at the people who don’t question the sources that shape their opinion, whilst at the same time questioning the validity of their opinion. It’s a relevant listen presented as a four-minute bass-fuelled banger with big beats, growling guitar and stentorian sonority.

The band celebrate the release of their new track by picking their top five masked musicians…

1.Orville Peck
In ancient times Gods would take human form and walk amongst us ordinary folk to experience the human condition and with the emergence of masked Country music adventurer Orville Peck, this past couple of years, those times seemed to have returned. He exudes an otherworldly presence, a star-like quality that oozes both charisma and mystery, creating an intoxicating combination, which has men and women alike kneeling at his feet. 

His music, like his mask, is something else. Post-punk beats and guitar-driven soundscapes inspired by the Southern states all provide the warm, velvety bed for his deep and dark vocals (reminiscent of the likes of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak) to rest upon. His songcraft is masterful and combines pop sensibilities with folk storytelling that paint pictures so vivid that you’ll want to don a cowboy hat and ride bareback into the sun.

We met him once after a show he did in Leeds and accidentally knocked off his hat as we desperately started clawing at him for his recognition. With the same level of regal leniency as George III showed Margaret Nicholson, he did not punish us and instead accepted our apology and gifted us with hugs and autographs. What a guy/demigod!

2. Gazelle Twin
We first came across Gazelle Twin aka Elizabeth Bernholz a year ago (we were embarrassingly very late to the party) when he saw her picture gracing the pages of NARC Magazine. A devilish and demented jockey-like figure stared back at us, enticing our curiosity and leading us to a world of warped wonder filled with experimental excitement and neo-classical delight. Her music is a treat for the senses and can soundtrack your descent into insanity or your emergence into enlightenment. Check out the videos to Hobby Horse and Exorcise to see a masterclass in audio-visual excellence, but you want a real treat then check out the live session she did for The Barbican, where she performed, Glory, one of the best things we’ve heard on recorder since Three Blind Mice.

3. Lynks Afrikka
Under our masks, we love to smile and no one makes us smile more than Lynks Afrikka. His side-splitting, on-the-pulse lyrics and sexy synth beats paired with a theatrical, anything goes stage show (complete with backing singers/dancers) make him a potent entertainer that will probably be a household name in a year’s time. 

By the way… if you’re feeling a bit under the weather being on lockdown and need cheering up, then we cannot recommend his daily Self-Isolation Tapes videos enough.

4. Jonathan Bree
If you want to hear the phrase ‘fuck it’ sung it in a composed yet eerie manner by an artist with an aesthetic that looks like a cross between Slenderman and Scott Walker, then Sleepwalking by Jonathan Bree is the album for you. It’s a lush, orchestrated art-pop masterpiece with tender crooner vocals that caress your senses as you lay in your bed and drift off to sleep. 

5. Bob Log III 
It’s safe to say there is an element of blues influence in our music. We love blues music but it’s got to be done right… And by ‘right’ we mean performed at a million miles an hour with foot controlled (organic and synthetic) beats whilst dressed in a jumpsuit and crash helmet and riding an inflatable rubber dinghy.

If you’ve not experienced a Bob Log show, then you have not lived. It’s a religious experience that cleanses you of Earthly worries and sends you into slide guitar induced spasms that some people might call dancing.

We’ve put together a Spotify playlist featuring these and other masked artists. You can listen to it here.

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