Mayflower Madame - Ludwig Meidner (single / video from album ‘Prepared For A Nightmare’)
I suspect that Mayflower Madame are probably named after the infamous New York escort agency owner Sydney Biddle Barrows rather than the ship, although interestingly it was the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage this year – an event celebrated (although mourned by some) at Thanksgiving.
Exactly why the band named themselves as they did is a mystery, but to me they have the perfect psych noir / gothic rock style name, which is convenient given they are exactly that style of band – dark, mysterious and that little bit murky sounding,
They’ve had a lot of success too, making trips to USA (appropriately perhaps), Europe and some festival appearances in the UK, including the excellent Psych festival in Manchester in 2018, which I didn’t quite make that year unfortunately – hopefully 2021 will be different. They released an album entitled ‘Observed in a Dream’ in 2016, and they’ve had great features in magazines and blogs across the world.
New album ‘Prepared for a Nightmare’ has a great sound, relentless and intense, with pounding drums and those typically echoey psych guitar and vocal effects. It’s very much takes influence from bands like Bauhaus, Sisters, and the Jesus and Mary Chain from ‘back in the day’, but with a more relevant sound, which fits them nicely into the current ‘psych’ scene.
From the album they’ve released a single and video called ‘Ludwig Meidner‘, a track inspired and dedicated to the German expressionist painter of the same name. Known for his apocalyptic visions of a chaotic modern world about to erupt into a volcano, he didn’t exactly have an easy life either, escaping to the Isle of Man to escape persecution, but living in poverty until his return to Germany after the 2nd World War.
Of course Mayflower Mayhem are able to provide the perfect musical backdrop to such visions, and the video is impressive and powerful too, directed by Astrid Serck, it mixes band footage with clips from the 1939 urban documentary ‘The City’. Watching the video, the music seems that bit more relentless and intense too.
Impressive track, video and album, if you like your music slightly darker.