Gothic Post Punk Rockers Married A Dead Man Set To Release New Album, “Awakening” at Goosetown Tavern on 11/22

Release Date: November 22, 2019

Format: Digital and physical

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, Colorado

Current Lineup: 

  • Jaime Noah: drums
  • Luca Grieman: guitars
  • Megan Kelley: lead vocals and keyboards
  • Travis Rosen: bass and backing vocals 

Favorite Tracks: Awakening, Stray, Burn, Taken, Shimmer and Valkyrie

Sounds Like: Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Room In The Wood, Mazzy Star, Gary Numan, The Damned (Darkwave Era), and Dead Can Dance. 


Photo by Anarchpunk

As old man winter enters Colorado. Everything seems to slow down. It’s pitch black by 5pm, the pumpkins from Halloween are beginning to rot.  The temperature is a constant 45 degrees. It’s great weather for some Gothic post punk tunes from Denver’s Married A Dead Man. They are set to play Goosetown Tavern on November 22, 2019 for their new album release, “Awakening”. Tickets are moving and are limited to only 100!

2019-11-22T20:00:00

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Release Party Starts

I have always felt a good album contains a story line. This story line may be deep and meaningful. Or maybe a group of musicians having a great time making music? Every song has its own story. Denver’s Married A Dead Man is one of those bands. With each release a story line is set. We reviewed their last release here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/12/married-a-dead-man-haunt/

The first track, “Overture”, provides a dark, grimy, and haunting introduction. This is a beautiful and haunting song. The movie is set to begin. “Awakening” is next with synth sounds reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, “Dead Souls”. Kelley’s voice is energetic, yet blends well with the amazing drum work, and excellent guitar. This is a buildup to a pure, awakening from the depths. 

Photo by Anarchopunk

I have to admit the next song, “Stray” hit me very hard. This anti-gun track is emotionally charged and left me pondering this. How many have to die at the hands of gun violence? How many more children will be gunned down like lambs to the slaughter? This song is incredible and has very strong potential. 

“Shaken by bullets all flying around
Pick up the bodies that lie on the ground
With thoughts and prayers as we sink in despair
Twenty years past yet we still look elsewhere”

Married A Dead Man – “Stray”

“Burn” follows with a beautiful piano introduction. This track has an awesome industrial sound. It’s almost as if there’s a full orchestra behind Kelley and the band. The buildup towards the end of the track is unexpected, but done brilliantly. “Bleed” is the next song. A relationship over, yet an awakening has begun to reclaim the soul. 

The drum work on the song is excellent. The synth dances as a playful witch explores her new surroundings. I love this song! The band fully displays each of their own mastered styles. There’s an impressive guitar riff that blends seamlessly with the track.

“Taken”, gets dark and mysterious. The song progresses the story line while bouncing between self reflection and taking action. The imagery in this sad tale is deep and I felt it was best to reach out to the band for comment. I spoke with Vocalist/Keyboardist Megan Kelley.

CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Taken?”

Megan Kelley: Absolutely. This song is somewhat painful to discuss and is very personal. It’s about rape. The lyrics are two fold: they discuss the victim begging to be freed and let go by the rapist, “stop/not that/this, please free my wrists. Choke/spit/hit/piss, I want to live” while toggling between the victim having an out of body experience to cope with the assault as it occurs “I’m floating high above. What should I think of?”

It also makes the point of how victims feel after getting assaulted: how they feel completely unattractive, detached, scarred, and how they view being seen differently by others. “Played out your fantasy, tied to my canopy. I was a bride-to-be, now no one touches me.” The song explores the fight-flight-freeze response to getting attacked in the first verse. 

When we play this song live, often times I will discuss the personal nature of this song and always stress that it’s never the victim’s fault.  I hope that with open dialogue about sexual assault it will help more victims find a place of healing. Rape is about control, and the best way to take back your control is to talk about your experience when you are ready.

I hope that our music can help anyone who has experienced anything like this.  I have often feared being pitied or seen solely as a victim. My public “face” is not one to show or admit vulnerability, but writing about these experiences and feelings truly has helped me in many ways.” Thank you Megan for sharing your story!

“Shimmer” follows and slows the album down. It’s calming, as it explores the sub consciousness. The bass shines on the track. This is another track where I felt it would be great to hear Kelley’s thoughts.

CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “ Shimmer ?”

Megan Kelley: “Shimmer is about floating away in the ocean. The suicide aspect is a metaphor for self acceptance and peace within yourself; it’s not necessarily about suicide, but it’s also inspired by how Virginia Woolf killed herself (which was by drowning herself in a river after weighing herself down with rocks in her pockets.) That kind of self acceptance really comes from making absolute peace with oneself, so I thought that the beach setting was fitting for this kind of peaceful acceptance. I grew up on the East Coast.

Photo credit: Alexei Hämmerle

Being near the ocean is something that I’m very accustomed to and love. The initial inspiration behind the song was the beauty of the ocean, and how much a beach scene is so peaceful and quiet. “I dip my toe in, dreaming of floating. I swim the ocean, the salt is cleansing. Feeling absolution, I can go peacefully.” Another big WOW from this writer!

“Keening” follows up with some edgy drums and guitar. By far one of the darkest tracks. It sounds like it could’ve been written by Bauhaus, yet retains that amazing MADM sound. This is another track where I felt it would be great if the band could offer some insight.

CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Keening?”

Megan Kelley: Sure! This one was really fun to write. The band writes all the music collaboratively, and I write most of the lyrics and melody. Travis (bass) also writes some of our lyrics and melodies. We have a song about witches. We have a song about the Valkyrie. We really wanted to write about banshees. This was nice for me to research because I am half Irish…and really went deep into the folklore rabbit hole during the research process. 

Like a lot of our music, it has a theme about women. Some songs are personal, like “Taken,” “Bleed,” or “Run,” and some songs are about strong women in mythology/history that we find interesting.There is a common misnomer that a banshee could put a curse on you if she came to visit. Really, the banshee is simply the messenger, visiting you to warn you that someone in your family will die soon…even as soon as the next day. 

Visiting at night, and typically portrayed as a shrouded, older, skinny, kind of scary faced woman with straggly hair, the banshee shrieks her way through the darkness to deliver her message. In Ireland, there is a belief that a certain banshee is assigned to a specific family, and that your assigned banshee would stay with your family forever”. Such a great story! Thanks Megan for the awesome information!

The last track is, “Valkyrie – (Offerings To Odin) Remix. Prepared to be straight up blown away by this kick ass remix. While the original is a bit slower, this remix offers a dance version. This track would fit well in any action movie where a person is bent on revenge. This track seems to culminate the story line of “Awakening”. Fans of 90s house music will love this track. Denver’s Rock Island days are still with us. 

In reflection, “Married A Dead Man’s, “Awakening” is a gothic post punk trip through intimate, storytelling, and fascinating composition. Several tracks on the record have great potential for commercial success. EDM may be taking the airwaves, but MADM is proving post punk is still alive and kicking. This album is definitely a nominee for CPRA’s Best Of 2019. You can pick it up on all major platforms after the release show at Goosetown Tavern.

SW US Tour Info!

Tracks: 

  1. Overture
  2. Awakening
  3. Stray  
  4. Burn
  5. Bleed
  6. Taken
  7. Shimmer
  8. Keening
  9. Valkyrie (Remix)

Links:

Weathered Statues – “Borderlands”

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Release Date: May 11, 2018

Format: LP, CD, digital

Label: Svart Records

Location: Denver, CO

Current Lineup: Per Facebook

  • Jennie Mather: voice and words
  • Jason Heller: guitar
  • Bryan Flanagan: bass
  • Andrew Warner: drums

Track listing:

  1. Corpse Candle
  2. Betrayal
  3. The Silver Cliff
  4. Dark Tides
  5. Ossuary
  6. Heather
  7. Hypnagogia
  8. Holy Masquerade
  9. Sabbat
  10. The Widow Sunday

Sounds Like: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, X-Ray Spex, early New Order and The Cure.

Band Bio: Taken from Svart Records website: “As the earth turns toward a colder era and humans struggle to adapt to a bleaker autumn breeze, a new music shivers in the shadows. There stand Weathered Statues. The group convened in early 2017 in Denver, Colorado, with three members having previously performed together in the post-doom outfit Cloak of Organs (along with members of  Planes Mistaken for Stars and Wovenhand).

Singer-keyboardist Jennie Mather, guitarist-keyboardist Jason Heller, and drummer Andrew Warner (also of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club) recruited bassist Bryan Flanagan, and the newly dubbed quartet of Weathered Statues began forging songs of mutation, betrayal, dislocation, erosion, and decay, subsequently playing shows with everyone from Boy Harsher to Pelican. Years ago, Mather and Heller had served in a short-lived shoegaze band called Hyacinth with Anthony Couri (previously of Minsk and currently of the Locrian side-project Lake of Violet), and the two of them began to sculpt lush sounds into something far more stark.”


 

Review:

Emotional, raw and well crafted post punk from Denver, CO. Like a lot of post punk, this checks all the boxes of having a solid rhythm section, providing the backdrop for the guitar and keys to create harmonies that are beautiful, but not overly florid. The clean lines those parts create give way to the perfect space for Mather’s vocals, which have strong melodies, without being overly dramatic. Her lyrics are dark but not brooding, which is what I like the most about them. I enjoy how directly she sings about lost love, death, betrayal, and the like, while the band provides the perfect musical backdrop.

The production is great also. The drums are mixed very well, and the overall balance of the band is stellar.

Favorite tracks: Corpse Candle, Betrayal, Dark Tides, Ossuary

On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoy this album and since writing this review, and find myself coming back to it time and time again. I want to play a gig with Weathered Statues!

Links:

https://www.weatheredstatues1.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/weatheredstatuesband/

About the Reviewer: Megan Kelley is the front woman for Denver based post-punk band Married a Dead Man. She is an accomplished pianist, keyboardist and singer, with a full time private music teaching studio. She is also a composer, songwriter and holds degrees in classical voice and piano, as well as a second degree in sound engineering. Music is her entire existence.

Married A Dead Man – “Haunt”

Married A Dead Man – “Haunt”

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Release date: August 26, 2018

Format: Digital and physical

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, Colorado

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Jaime Noah: drums
  • Gwyneth Rose: guitars
  • Megan Kelley: lead vocals and keyboards
  • Travis Rosen: bass and backing vocals

Favorite Tracks: Spywerks, Bad Dreams, Run, and Knoxville

Sounds Like: Perpacity, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Room In The Wood, Mazzy Star, Gary Numan, The Damned (Darkwave Era), and Dead Can Dance.


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Have you ever put on a record laid down and drifted off into some dream world? That’s called art my friends! Something that makes us feel something, anger, happiness, and of course sadness. Let me first introduce Denver based post punks, Married A Dead Man. Per the band’s Facebook page, “Married a Dead Man formed in July 2016 from the remnants of hardcore band OK Holiday, where Jaime (drums) and Gwyneth (guitar) decided to form their own female based goth-influenced project.

Veteran bassist Travis was added a few weeks later. Black clad kindred spirits, Megan (vocals and keyboards) and Jaime met volunteering for Girls Rock Denver, a non-profit organization that empowers young girls through music.

Brought together by disparate influences, the band creates an eclectic mix of goth, shoe-gaze and dark-wave, culminating a unique Denver-based sound. They collectively have 30+ years experience performing, recording and touring.

With their forthcoming debut LP, “Haunt”, Married a Dead Man has a host of local gigs, and will be touring in into 2018”.

The coolest part about this story is how everyone came together to create such a unique sound. So let’s get into this unique sound. If you recall I mentioned that music should make you feel something. While listening to the opening track, “Spywerks”. I felt as if I was falling down into a deep rabbit hole. Upon gaining my footing my imagination began to run wild. I saw images of cold war soviet spies running covert operations. Ok so maybe those came from the movie, “Atomic Blonde”, but the song led me in that direction.

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“Spywerks”, the opening bass line is a quick hook, when combined with the drums and guitar they make a wonderful combination. Kelley’s vocals are beautiful, yet strangely haunting. Let’s move onto “Bad Dreams”. This is probably my favorite track on the record. This track defines the label of “Dark Wave”. It’s dark and heavy. The emotions portrayed feel relatable, yet in someway dream like. The vocals shine during the chorus. “Never Say”, opens with a type of Colorado surf rock like, “A Shoreline Dream”. The keyboard and guitar are the stars on this while the drums push the progression. This song reminds me a bit of the Cure’s, “Disintegration” album.

“Knoxville”, this one reminds a lot of Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s fast paced, deep and heavy. This is definitely one of my favorites. The intro on the guitar kicks serious ass! The drums are quite remarkable. I’d love to hear this will a full symphonic orchestra. “Shadows” is up next on the record. This one slows down, yet continues the fantastic sound. This one is mainly drum and bass, which emphasizes on the vocals.

“Shed”, has really awesome bass line with some keyboard mixed in. Again while listening I feel like I’m in some sort of movie. The drums and guitar are on key and lead the vocals for an amazing crescendo. “Valkyrie”, this one seems a bit darker. It reminds me of the Pixies early tunes. Next up is “Run”. There’s some beautiful piano notes that lead into the vocals. This song seems to be about the loss of a relationship and running to escape the pain.

“Heart is shutting down

Her frown became a fixture

The distance in her eyes

Could paint a million pictures”

So I have come to a conclusion. Here at CPRA we decide on which eps/albums will make it to December for our Album of the Year Award. I thought it would be easy enough. Although I never considered that we would need to break it down by genre. Well I’m throwing, Married A Dead Man, “Haunt” into the best “Post Punk Category” for Album Of The Year. Throughout this album my ears are hearing new sounds I missed the first time. The album is the perfect combination of goth/post punk without feeling like it came from 1982. So be sure to check this one out!!!

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Tracks:

  1. Spywerks
  2. Bad Dreams
  3. Never Say
  4. Knoxville
  5. Shadows
  6. Shed
  7. Valkyrie
  8. Run

Links: