New Sounds: Drab Majesty shine a synth-pop light on a dark tragedy in ‘Oak Wood’

It’s no secret we are massive fans of Los Angeles darkwave project Drab Majesty, and as we type this sentence out, we know we’re selling mastermind songwriter and composer Deb Demure a bit short with that genre. January’s The Demonstration is an LP as cold as the day it was released (at least here in the clutches of New England), and songs like “Dot In The Sky,” “39 By Design,” and “Too Soon To Tell” are enchanting modern updates and upgrades to everything from goth to new wave to post-punk. As the androgynous Demure casts a darling spell over Cambridge tonight (September 25) for Drab Majesty’s appearance at the Middle East, we wanted to show the more ethereal side of the project, by way of recent mystical synth-pop track “Oak Wood”.

As Post-Punk notes, the track pays tribute to Cash Askew, who perished in the December 2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland.

“The DAIS family lost one of its most beloved members, Cash Askew, and its song title is a literal translation of her last name; In Old Norse being Eiki (oak) Skogr (wood) thus making Oak Wood,” writes Demure a few weeks back. “I found the name to be symbolically poignant in light of the events and wanted this to be a tribute piece. The lyrics grapple with the existence of a god in a time of such utter sadness, hopelessness, and confusion. Side B of the record features the new song ‘Egress’ which is meant to serve as a faint departure or daydream; spaces I often find myself drifting to as a means of escape when disturbing thoughts cyclically plague my brain… Side A confronts the issue and Side B acts as a mental respite. Making instrumental guitar pieces has always been an act of meditation and I hope if only for a brief moment, the listener can wander and lose themselves within the sonic imagery offered in this piece.”

The “Oak Wood” single has been released on a limited run of vinyl through DIAS, and proceeds from the tour edition will go directly to Oakland fire relief charities. If you see one at the merch table tonight at the Middle East, do pick it up.

Drab Majesty remaining tour dates:
9/25 – Boston, MA – Middle East *
9/26 – Montreal, QC – Bar Le Ritz *
9/27 – Toronto, ON – Baby G *
9/29 – Chicago, IL – Cold Waves Festival
9/30 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall =
10/2 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
10/4 – Denver, CO – Milk Bar
10/5 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10/6 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
10/7 – Seattle, WA – Laser Dome +
10/8 – Vancouver, BC – Cobalt +
10/10 – Portland, OR – Holocene +
10/12 – Sacramento, CA – Low Brau +
10/13 – San Francisco, CA – TBA +
10/20 – Los Angeles, CA – Cloak & Dagger Fest
(+ w/ Some Ember)
(* w/ Kontravoid)
(= w/ Cold Cave)