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  • David Bentley

Spunsugar – Belladonna (single from forthcoming debut album)

A strange day for reviewing, what with Pom Poko’s new single, which I passed on, having been unable to get into the previous one, a stripped-back acoustic version of an Augustine song we’ve already covered, and what I can only really describe as a political rant rap from Swedish artist iSHi, who normally writes for the likes of Rihanna, Usher, Tinie Tempah, and Professor Green / Emeli Sandé.

In the circumstances the best bet was Spunsugar, a gothgaze trio from Malmö, Sweden, the home of course of leather-trousered, Porsche-driving detective Saga Nóren in The Bridge. I’m still reeling from that blistering final episode last Saturday midnight even though I’ve seen it many times before. In the circumstances Malmö was the only choice.

Having said that I had no idea what ‘gothgaze’ is and had to look it up. Turns out its just shoegaze with Gothy vibes.

The single, ‘Belladonna’, is from Spunsugar’s debut album ‘Drive-Through Chapel’ set for release via Adian Recordings on 2nd October 2020.

It needs to be considered both musically and lyrically. The song opens as if they were well into it already and somebody just pushed a button: no worries about not catching the listeners’ attention straightaway. The verses are the shoegaze bit and the synthy, soaring chorus the gothy part. All underpinned by a machine gun of a bass guitar. That guitarist, Felix, shares vocal duties for the first time with the main singer Elin in the choruses and at one point all three of them are singing, including drummer Cordelia.

The English lyrics are impressive for a band which I assume has no native English speakers. ‘Belladonna’ concerns the potential for suicide by way of that poison but the reasoning behind it is the key. The ‘trichotomy’ referred to appears to be that of a parental-child relationship, where the singer (the child) is becoming influenced by the suicidal tendencies of one parent (or both). Do his/her own suicidal tendencies have any reality or are they just a manifestation of depression?

I suppose you could extrapolate that argument into other areas of the nature/nurture debate. Does being badly mistreated by a parent justify you becoming a violent thug yourself?

Check this out; it’s tasty.

“Where do I fit in this trichotomy? / Why do bad things always come in three? / There must be something wrong inside of me / It will be gone with some deadly nightshade / And when you bruise you bleed internally /And the whole world is your infirmary / My whole life is my eternity / That could be gone with some deadly nightshade”

It’s a serious subject for what is quite a dance-y track but they manage to pull it off.

We are promised that ‘Drive-Through Chapel’ sets itself as “one of the most thunderous and anthemic offerings in the Adrian Recordings catalogue.”

Find them on Facebook, Instagram or Bandcamp.


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