In a time when American folk music has lost touch with its bloody roots, King Dude seeks to illuminate the darkness with sex, death, love, insanity, and Lucifer’s light. Since 2006, his devotional rock ‘n’ roll has been both the medium and the message; his throaty baritone and devilishly visceral songwriting the tools he wields to ignite the fiery spirit of revelation in all who encounter him.
Thanks to past releases on Dais, Avant!, Bathetic, Clan Destine, and Ván records, a number of high-profile festival appearances, and a relentless tour schedule—often alongside the likes of Ghost and Earth—the silver-tongued singer/songwriter has found an ever-expanding global audience with whom to share his prophetic vision of hope and salvation: a willing congregation whose raised voices and stomping feet reliably turn his shows into Luciferian tent revivals.
King Dude is a blue-eyed Mephistopheles with an acoustic guitar; he dresses like Johnny Cash and sings like he cut in line in front of Robert Johnson at the crossroads. His voice can shift from haunting and vulnerable to thunderous near-Biblical fury in the space of a breath, marrying the sacred to the profane with pomp, circumstance, and a curled lip. He sings about death the way he sings about fucking. With inspiration torn from country, blues, Americana, and British folk (and a background in heavy metal), King Dude’s raw, hypnotic hymns channel the past while staring straight ahead into a revelatory future.
Kælan Mikla, an Icelandic synth-punk trio formed in 2013. They released their debut album with Fabrika Records (She past away, Selofan, Lebanon Hanover) in July 2016 and are now working on their second album. Kælan Miklas roots dangle both in avant-punk poetry and drifting, dreaming dark wave, but who blend them in a manner that is both eccentric and electrifying.
It’s too good to be no wave, moving instead into that clinical early 1980s synthwave, music that’s so cold it’ll make your breath freeze. Kælan Mikla is one of the most immediately intriguing bands to emerge from those pastures in years. Dropped tuned meandering basslines furrow their way over and across evil synthesizer minor chords while programmed beats hammer down like sheet lightning on a winter’s night. Singer, Laufey Soff?a looks like she’s in a trance while delivering tales of doom and despair in Icelandic.They have become known for creating unique atmospherics during their live shows, performing ritualistic behaviour to a low drone punctuated by punches, vocals that hang in the mist before merging with the air, then reaching out to grab your throat. You come away from seeing them live wondering if it’s really over, as you can still feel icy fingers reaching towards you.