Still Leven

My eighties were spent avoiding any music that had even considered an association with the term Electronic, loud guitars were the order of the day. So new wave, New Romantics and Electronica completely passed me by in a blur of metal, denim and leather.

This definitely wasn’t the case for Still Leven who seem to have taken inspiration from several areas of the decade to produce a sound that is heavy with references to Souxsie, Sisters of Mercy and even newer electronic /industrial bands plying their trade today. The dual vocals of Giacomo Gianetta and Greta Liscio complement each other well over a background of synth infused, moody layers of beats of this their debut album.

Each track flows into the next a little too easily and this blurs the lines between individual songs that can sometimes distract the listener who is then returned to reality with some ingeniously vocals , best example of this is ‘Lost in Texture’ which delivers a frenzy of Pete Murphy style vocals. The album begins with each vocalist seemingly taking the lead with Giacomo fronted ‘Soulsearching’ followed by ‘No Moleskin’ which is a medium for Greta’s vocals but it’s when the two come together that the band starts to show what its capable off. ‘Possession’ starts with hypnotic rhythm and Banshee-esque vocals that takes its time to develop into a perfect match up of sounds from across the generations, even if the spoken word section in the middle is a little Hammer Horror. ‘Weekends of Spring’, the last track off the album is a fitting end to an album that manages to imbue a broody, dark sound that can inspire some real emotion as long as you can get past the ill advised rap section.

For a band that has its roots firmly fixed in lost decades, Still Leven can produce a sound that is still fresh and appealing , taking the best parts of their influences and mixing them up for a new generation of makeup clad listeners looking for an alternative.

Simon Mulholland