Echoberyl Combines Dark Aesthetics And Sci-Fi On New Single “Fading Away”
The Parisian duo’s latest release is about dealing with absence and death and comes with a moody, black-and-white video.
On immediate first listen, Echoberyl’s self-proclaimed new maxi single “Fading Away” is a fast-paced and thrilling mix of equal parts deep pulsing bass and warm fuzzy synths. What gives the duo such a characteristic bold sound is not just the way they balance the layers in their work, but also the themes, stories, and archetypes behind their music. Previous releases explore dark fairytales, with song titles that namedrop characters from Greek mythology such as in the intense and spidery sounding “Medea’s Revenge”. Through this, the world of Echoberyl is a twisted history of female revenge, fulfillment, and centrism.
Hovering between Coldwave, Darkwave, and EBM, they do not have a small task to channel the power of storytelling with their music. Cecilia Dassonneville and Adriano Iacoangeli hail from Paris and they carry off the themes in their music with a creative twist. Their latest single comes complete with a moody, black-and-white video that takes place under darkened street lamps. It contrasts in a magical way with the high-octane, pulsing energy of the track, and their desire to create stories succeeds magnificently here. The pulsing beats in the background create a constantly building, unnerving tension that immediately hooks the viewer. However, “Fading Away” is instantly listenable on its own. It is still, loud and clear, and never gets boring on repeat, either. In fact, its hypnotic, trance-like quality is one of its strongest features.
Furthermore, it is interesting to see the new direction the duo has gone with this new release. The beat and production are superficially simpler than previous works like “Salome”. It’s more pop-oriented (if darkwave could ever be described this way). Yet, the hooky quality goes very well with the horror aesthetics, creating momentum that carries the story – hung loosely around a series of lyrical cliffhangers – with deep emotion and a sense of tension.
Thematically it’s also different from the parts of their previous work which dealt with more classically gothic, fairytail imagery such as in their previous LP Mother Solitude and Other Dark Tales. This time, “Fading Away” takes on alternative universes and hints at glitches in time, with the track’s inspiration coming from The Twilight Zone and exploring what it would be like to meet someone from the past you thought was long dead. Previously, Cecilia and Adriano have also taken inspiration from director Yann Gonzales, animation director and storyboard artist Michel Ocelot, as well as comic book artist and director Enki Bilal, whose work has contributed to many of the science fiction themes in their music.
With this track, they manage to combine both their fairytale and romantic elements via the aspect of an out-of-reach relationship with the science fiction of past and future colliding. In this way, it’s an interesting place to see both their aesthetics come together and photos on their Instagram have hinted at them inhabiting a place where they match the best of both worlds for a while now.
After a few more listens, it’s clear there is more emphasis on Cecilia’s sweeter vocal side, making the story behind the music even more plaintive. It’s a great example of how darkness and melodic hooks mingle, making this track a delicious forbidden fruit that disintegrates two-thirds of the way through for a wavering, hovering set of guitar licks, adding a vintage quality that contrasts with the high synth lines in the background.
What’s clear is there’s less of a mythological and more of a cinematic approach here. It’s a nice new twist to Echoberyl’s catalog, and occupies a very recognisable sonic niche amongst their work. Furthermore, it comes with four different remixes that explore the way the duo is never short of sonic inspiration. Included is an “Alternative Reality Version” that goes well with the track’s themes and hangs off a broken beat and bassline that ups its unnerving aspects and picks out the richness of its distinctive descending bassline. On top of this is a gritty “Alternative Reality Remix” that stretches out to over 5 minutes, as well as the pulsing “Shado Remix” that takes the melody in more abrasive directions.
To wrap up, “Fading Away” is a tantalizing new development for a duo that has always dealt with very distinctive aesthetics. Echoberyl’s different sonic directions and the versatility of Ceclia’s voice throughout the remixes make future prospects very exciting – and we eagerly await the announcement of more new music.
Featured Image by Echoberyl