DARKPLACE is an anonymous band that has recently emerged on the music scene. Their music is rooted in post punk but incorporates elements of experimental rock, alternative, and a variety of other genres in their sound among which experimental rock, alt-pop and shoegaze are prominent. The debut album About The End Of The World, out today digitally on Icons Creating Evil Art, is a monumental release speaking not only through the medium of sound, but also through stunningly glum digital paintings and animations.
The concept behind the album is centered around a grim future, or perhaps present, where the world is depicted through digital paintings in the accompanying music videos. The imagery is inspired by the bleak landscape of Stockholm’s Västerort, but with a unique and imaginative twist.
The band’s debut single “Arken Över Hesselby,” which translates to “The Ark Over Hesselby,” pointed towards an alternative version of the Stockholm suburb of Hässelby. Its video depicted a familiar cityscape, haunted by an unknown presence viewed from the sky. The story continues in the second single, “Fearmonger,” where we bear witness to another part of the same daunting universe, to witness the fate of a lone foot soldier as he faces the ominous skyship. Third single, “Cars,” moves on to the story of a man travelling north, following cryptic messages written on highway signs that mysteriously only show up in the blast of his headlights. Fourth single, “This Is Loud,” brings things to yet another Stockholm suburb, this time in the south, where the jarring presence of huge stone crosses terrorizes the population.
“I couldn’t go out anymore, I didn’t feel safe. It was all connected, I don’t know how but we all knew it was part of something bigger. In secret forums we discussed. We knew what it meant, the world was ending. Is it possible to survive this? Will we all go mad? Nowhere is safe.”
Watch DARKPLACE’s final video of this epic with “The End” at THIS LOCATION.
Order About The End Of The World at THIS LOCATION where a stunning visualizer of the full record is now playing.
Most of the instrumental songs on About The End Of The World were written with a specific dramaturgy and story in mind, which shows in the cinematic short movie-like music videos. DARKPLACE gives us an intriguing insight into their creative process. “The first idea for an animation was ‘Arken Över Hesselby.’ We started creating the art before we had the music, so the piece is written as a soundtrack to the animation.”
The art is a multi-layered process that involves photography, sculpting, oil painting, digital editing, and animation. DARKPLACE elaborates, “For structures, [the sculpting and painting mobile application] Nomad Sculpt is used to form it, then the motives are exported in the specific angle each scene requires and is imported into Procreate [a raster graphics editor app for digital painting] to be painted there. 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 as well. This project has taken almost two years so far, so we try to kept it to a minimal.”
It comes as no surprise that DARKPLACE is about far more than just releasing excellent music. It’s an art project that seeks to explore and comment on the state of the world through audio and visuals. As a new and enigmatic force in the music landscape, DARKPLACE is sure to turn heads with their innovative approach to creating art.
Icons Creating Evil Art will release DARKPLACE’s About The End Of The World digitally with the vinyl edition to follow in the weeks to come.