Friday 19 January 2024


How so dirge-y a song, so despondant and swept up in a sense of looming despair, can be so exciting is only down to the skill in its execution. The simplicity at work in the moody and minimalist 'Affection' by Glasgow musical entity and human beings Slake Moths is part of this. They describe their music as "melancholic and electronic, a result of listening to too much Neu! and the like during their lost adolescences in the sunlit uplands of North Lanarkshire."

Not a bad description. Splashes of synth move in static ripples, ending in resonating one-note skirls, above a bubbling column of glossy but pitted bass. All of it cycles over a stoic, disjointed half-skeleton of a beat, the slow scuttle of hi hats, taut kicks and fibia-tapping snare clicks.

Halfway through, the simplest of switches: an addition of slow arpeggio of gentle boops, but set rhythmically so they cut in syncopation with the beat. If this is affection, it is unreturned, unfulfilled, clouded and cursed — apt enough for a music-making unit named after giant interdimensional mind-eating butterflies. Indeed the track feels very much like an evolved form of witch house; combined with the occultish artwork, the adjacency is clear to see.

But it wasn't always so minimal. The band tells yes/no via email that 'Affection' was "originally a lot more complex and layered, but we pared it down to just a couple of tracks and slowed it way down, which seemed to bring out all the ambiguity and sinister feeling." It's the first track taken from their upcoming self-titled debut album, due out this year on Slake Moths' own microlabel, Firth Records.

Live shows may be forthcoming, they continue, if interest is there. "The internet might have made music omnipresent, but performance, proper theatrics, is still a rare quantity. If people are fine going to a cinema to be made uncomfortable, to be disturbed, then why not a concert?" the band says. "We have a great many ideas, most of which are probably unsound and ill-advised, but it would be nice to try them out on-stage."

  • 🔔 'Affection' is taken from Slake Moths' debut album, also called Slake Moths, due out sometime in 2024.

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