Los Angeles darkwavers Cold Cave released Fate in Seven Lessons today. It’s their first collection of songs since 2018’s You & Me & Infinity, a four-song EP, and their longest set since their great 2011 album Cherish the Light Years. At seven tracks, it’s not quite a full-length album but still too long to be an EP.
There are a ton of great touchpoints on this release: New Order, Jesus & Mary Chain, Sisters of Mercy. The bouquet of flowers on the cover evokes Power, Corruption & Lies, New Order’s second studio album, and their ebullient sound is all over Fate’s bouncy single, “Night Light,” one of the best songs of the year.
The seven songs on Fate in Seven Lessons are songs about love and euphoria, drawing from the happiness that frontman Wesley Eisold has found—he and his bandmate and partner Amy Lee have settled down in Los Angeles where they’re raising their son Rainer. Track five, “Happy Birthday Dark Star,” does a nice job of reflecting their family life while still retaining a dark edge. “I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as you,” Wesley croons, lyrics I assume he’s singing to Rainer.
Rainer himself performs on Fate in Seven Lessons. He opens track four, “Love Is All,” by talking quietly about flowers and concludes the song by playing harmonica. It is adorable.
Of the songs we’re hearing for the first time today, my favorite is “Honey Flower,” which combines a ripping guitar chord with a beautiful synth line. Wesley channels Jim Reid on the vocals, drawing out each verse, as he sings about how love has helped him escape his pain and sorrow.
Fate in Seven Lessons also includes Cold Cave’s excellent track “Promised Land,” one of my favorite songs of 2019. “Promised Land” is a big, bombastic number that features a charging melody and backing vocals very reminiscent of Sisters of Mercy.