Oct 22, 2021 | Tape / Digital | FLCR049

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  • While some of us were working on our puzzle-building skills, Toronto songwriter Lowell Sostomi was using the opportunity to write an album — one that captures the claustrophobia and isolation, but reflected through a funhouse mirror. The resulting album, "BLACK MOON" invokes all-too-familiar feelings of paranoia, isolation and confusion, with an intimate atmosphere that is simultaneously high-res and lo-fi, delicately moving between heavy tension and buoyant euphoria. Sostomi empathizes with listeners about their shared experiences of alienation, offering fleeting moments of solace amidst the turmoil. 

    Now available on limited-edition transparent brown cassette tape, or transparent red Bandcamp-exclusive.

    1. prime time
    2. positive affirmations
    3. 3-1-1
    4. black moon 
    5. local talent
    6. flesh is fiction
    7. anatomy of boredom
    8. clean
    9. true defeat
    10. numb
  • CIVIC TV provides an escape route from the haunted house that has been our reality as we narrowly evade the end times. From the second it starts, BLACK MOON sounds apiece with the tone of our post-apocalyptic era, immediately invoking familiar feelings of isolation and confusion against a cinematic backdrop that is as expansive as it is claustrophobic, disquieting as it is comforting. Oscillating between tension and euphoria, the album is pollinated by iridescent melodies across a constantly shifting soundscape that is simultaneously high-res and lo-fi, delivering both commiseration and catharsis.

    The brainchild of Toronto songwriter Lowell Sostomi, BLACK MOON was recorded mostly by the artist at his home studio during the desolation of the pandemic. The title track recalls hours of scrolling through an endless feed of all the places you’d rather be without ever allowing its alternating senses of dread and yearning to break the surface. Sonically, Sostomi is similarly dichotomous, mirroring the themes of inner conflict at the heart of the record. His production can be evocative yet elusive, with rich analog synth textures and complex arrangements on “Anatomy Of Boredom'' calling to mind early Tears For Fears or Violator-era Depeche Mode, while his opiated vocals on “Positive Affirmation” maintain a minor-key sensibility that conjures the more somber sentiments of late Nirvana and Soundgarden - though he never lingers in one spot for too long. Disparate threads are woven together to form something recognizable yet uncanny, like a funhouse mirror reflecting the darkest moments of pop songwriting from the past four decades, with distinctly modern perspectives and production values.

    Lyrically, character sketches illustrate outsiders whose common thread is their own desperation, and instrumental flourishes like the distant sax on “3-1-1” italicize those themes of paranoia and uncertainty like the best scores of New Hollywood cinema. The images are all distinctly dystopian, but as widescreen, as the sound design may be, BLACK MOON remains intimate and relatable, like Trent Reznor scoring the collective anxiety of not knowing where your next credit card payment might come from. On his debut album as CIVIC TV, Sostomi empathizes with listeners about their shared experiences of alienation, offering fleeting moments of solace amidst ever-looming turmoil and turbulence.

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