Here has Vanyaland we often point out the brighter, more neon side of Swedish pop music. But for a few chosen nights in this hazy August side, Retrograth has arrived to take us to Stockholm’s darkest soundscapes. Claes Nordling’s somewhat mysterious analog wave project features three live performances of beats n’ treats this week, starting tonight (August 24) at a Dark Spring Boston show at Union Tavern in Somerville alongside Painters and Video Shoppe. Retrograth will next play Nokturnal at Dusk in Providence tomorrow night (August 25) and Darq at Koto in Salem on Friday (August 27).
The trio of performers are dubbed “New England Noir,” and it’s an apt description for Retrograth’s mode as one of the most prolific artists on the global dark-pop synth scene. His local race just came out last week from Detonationthe project’s fifth EP and the last in a series of new releases for 2022. Detonation focuses on themes of the atomic bomb, “from the Manhattan Project to the political urgency of a planned withdrawal with vengeance and a final detonation”, with its first single released on August 6, the same date as the airdrop of the bomb on Hiroshima. “Unfortunately, we’re only seconds away from midnight,” Nordling says.
For the uninitiated, the sound of Retrograth is described as: “A leg is in the warm sound of classic analog electronic circuitry. The other leg focuses on sound design, science and philosophy. All with a pop-noir touch, a crooner’s voice, synthesized sounds and a dark atmosphere.
It should fit perfectly. Welcome to New England.