Darkplace is a mysterious new Swedish dark dream pop/post-punk group whose just released debut album, About The End Of The World, is a conceptual work inspired by the bleak landscape of the Stockholm suburbs that birthed them.
Centred around an alternative reality – or is it just a grim present and future? – the album has been unveiled gradually via a series of videos based on animated digital paintings for several of its tracks.
Four singles have been issued ahead of the album, with the introductory ‘Arken över Hesselby’ (The Ark Over Hesselby) presenting the outskirts of a city haunted by an unknown aerial presence. Its follow-up, ‘Fearmonger’, offered an apocalyptic scenario with sirens wailing and a lone soldier fleeing the prying ‘eye in the sky’ of a mysterious airship. The third, ‘Cars’, was the first to feature vocals and saw the story move on to a man travelling north following cryptic messages written on motorway signs. ‘This Is Loud’ saw the plot thicken and bring the story full circle…back to the beginning and Hesselby…with another stunning visual to accompany it.
A video for the track ‘The End’ has been made available to celebrate the release of the album and can be seen HERE. The band cryptically comment that “when the Monuments switch on you can taste metal and your ears pop. Working from home became vital for people who lived close to them. GPS’ seem slightly off. Is it because of interference from them? My regular walks also seem to differ in distance.”
A 25 minute video for the full album can be seen HERE.
Although rooted in late 80s/early 90s indie styles, Darkplace incorporate a variety of other genres into their sound. However, for the members of this highly secretive group, it is not just about the music. They perceive themselves as more an art project that happens to be exploring and commenting on the state of the world through their chosen mediums of music and video.
The majority of the tracks on the album are short instrumentals that were written with specific storyboards in mind, with the group revealing that: “We started creating the art before we had the music in most cases, so the tracks were written as soundtracks to the animation.”
The art itself is a multi-layered process that involves photography, sculpting, oil painting, digital editing and animation. Using apps like Nomad Sculpt to create it before exporting scene specific angles and imported into Procreate to be painted, they add: “we use oil paintbrushes and paint over the photo. It is layers upon layers and it gets messy. Exporting gets even messier since we want depth in the scenes and need to export them in layered depths. A few scenes in this project have been animated frame by frame and it has taken almost two years to complete.”
At The End Of The World
- Prelude (Alarm)
- Save Them All
- Fearmonger (Skräckmakare)
- Arken Över Hesselby
- This Is Loud
- No Escaping This
- The End
- Das Leben Hat Ein Ende
- Call Your Neighbours – bonus track