“A Rooftop Funeral” is the new single from Oakland, California-based dark cinematic synthwave solo project S.C.R.A.M. The song preceded the outfit’s filmic new concept album, The Inner City, nearing release this October.
Formed in the isolation of the 2020 Covid lockdowns, S.C.R.A.M. (Safety Control Rod Axe Man) is the solo project of Pranjal Tiwari. Known for his work with the long-running cult doom metal band Cardinal Wyrm, Finnish-language hardcore band Ransu’s Revenge, and more, Tiwari utilizes this project to create cinematic, experimental, ambient, electronic, and heavily instrumental passages, focusing tension and negative space to create immersive auras. Having released an EP, two prior albums, and a split with Gridfailure over the past two years, the soloist offers his most introspective material yet with the third full-length album, The Inner City.
With ten new songs on The Inner City, S.C.R.A.M. delivers a record that channels the soundtracks of 70s and 80s classic films such as Blade Runner, Tron, and even Taxi Driver, yet transcends dystopian and futuristic cliches with a very personal and reflective approach.
The Inner City was fully written, performed, and recorded by creator Pranjal Tiwari, with crucial contributions from several guests, including trumpet on “Welcome to New Damascus,” “Tomorrow Is Always Right Behind You,” and “Never Could Live Like That,” by Mac Gollehon (multi-platinum David Bowie, Duran Duran, Blondie, Onyx session player), trumpet on “A Rooftop Funeral” from Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Cardinal Wyrm, Ionophore), additional keyboards on “Never Could Live Like That” from Nathan Bishop-Bolin (Cardinal Wyrm), and field recordings on “A Rooftop Funeral” and “Never Could Live Like That” from David Brenner (Gridfailure, Diminishing). The album was mixed and mastered by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios and is fitted with artwork by the legendary UK sci-fi artist Chris Moore, photography by Joelle Garson, and layout and additional photography by David Brenner.
Tiwari reflects on the “A Rooftop Funeral” single, “To me there’s something about standing on a rooftop and looking out at a large city that inspires brooding and melancholy. You’re standing in the shadow of these colossal megastructures, like one small speck in a much larger design, a big machine whose purpose no one seems to know. You think about all the lives that have come and gone as you look down at the thousands of others down below. You think of your own life, and the gnawing sense of self that wants to assert itself in the face of immensity. It feels daunting and overwhelming, but there’s a real beauty in that brooding, the striving and struggle of a spirit that is still alive. In some sense it’s like being at a funeral and remembering a friend that has passed away. There’s an infinite gap between the two of you now, but you’ll always remember who they were.”
“I was so excited when Leila agreed to lay down the trumpet lead for this track, she’s an incredible musician who I’m proud to have been in a band with for several years. I knew that her soulful playing style would capture the complexity of all the above emotions perfectly. I really think she went above and beyond with this performance and I’m excited to share it with the world.”
“I also think the visualization by Shelby Lermo (Ulthar) of swirling, stormy clouds over Chris Moore’s inimitable cover art is a perfect accompaniment to the piece, conveying the beautiful turmoil that churns within.”
Watch S.C.R.A.M.’s “A Rooftop Funeral” visualizer now at YouTube HERE and stream the song at Bandcamp HERE.
The Inner City will be released digitally and on digipak CD through Tiwari’s own Tumbril’s Wedge label on October 6th. Find preorders at the label webshop HERE and Bandcamp HERE, and view the “Slipstream Visions” visualizer HERE.
Additional previews of the album will enter the digital ether over the weeks ahead.