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Replicant Eyes, S/T Etxe Records

The dark wave, post-industrial duo of Dan Gonzalez and Alejandro Castaño makes an accomplished debut, with an album that moves between pop songs and industrial ballads—complete with menacing guitars, heavy synths, and found sounds. Clicks of tape and CD players guide listeners through the album’s main theme: seeing through the eyes of an artificial source of life, a sentient being that ponders its own existence. “Here’s Your Vengeance!” and “The Truth” are standouts, the latter a six-minute cathartic curtain call that implodes upon itself with a righteous amount of fuzz and rage.

RiYL: A superior soundtrack for if they ever remake Cruel Intentions.

Jax Deluca, Organs In The Wind

ACR Records

Organs in the Wind, the noteworthy new album by visual and experimental artist Jax Deluca, is an expression of emotions that are hard to communicate. Listening to it is a solitary experience—a set of instructions tells us to listen to this record “at a low volume in a dark space, a quiet cave.” The album, comprised of a set of five compositions, functions as a slow drone of sorts—or even a lullaby that brims with raw emotion and tangible hums. Among the more spaced-out compositions are “TMH” and “YSGA,” in which we hear soft keys against a ghostly wall that seems to vibrate with every pulsing note. Layered in rich vocals and recorded only using her voice, organ, and a few effects pedals, Deluca manages to sonically capture the moment between stillness and rebirth.

RiYL: Casually standing around and listening to the wind.

Lightmare, “Good Night White Pride” 

Self-released

After coming together for Girls Rock! DC’s collaborative experiment Hat Band, Shady Rose, Vitamin Dee Chrystal, and Matt Kirkland decided to stick together, later adding Mike Beckage, Yung Michael Loria, and Josette Matoto to form Lightmare. Twelve months later, and following D.C.’s long tradition of punk and protest, their single “Good Night White Pride” is a powerful call to arms. The video, filmed at The Emergence Community Arts Collective, spawns out of the band’s idea of filming an aerobics-style instructional clip that demonstrates how to punch fascists and neo-Nazis in the face. In their own words, “we snowballed it into this vision of radical unity in diversity against oppression and injustice, featuring people from many of the marginalized groups that are targets of those violent oppressive forces.” Although the filming proved to be hard work, the exercise “was an exultant expression of community.”

RiYL: Listening to X-Ray Spex while painting signs for the next local rally. 

Donna Slash, “Vicious Queen”Self-released

Here’s another song coated with the elusive, although still present, “industrial” tag that this city might now need the most. This absolute banger leans more toward electroclash, at first favoring a more velvety sound, as if Fischerspooner decided to spend a savage night at a dance club. The song’s lyrics are full of intent, with just the right amount of menace, and highlight a powerful message that reminds us we can be whoever we want to be. Is this track—and hopefully a subsequent full-length release—the only thing we ever needed? Possibly.

RiYL: Dancing by yourself wearing tight vinyl black boots.