Absolution Fest, the annual dark music festival that takes place in Florida, returns in just a few weeks. I’m attending! If you see me there, please say hello.
The lineup for this year’s Absolution is absolutely insane. Many of the synthpop and darkwave bands playing are coming from overseas, so this is a great opportunity to check off several bands on my bucket list.
Here’s just a sample of the acts I’m excited about seeing, along with some of my favorite tracks from each of them. For more information about Absolution Fest, including tickets, visit their official website.
AEON RINGS – “Lover”
There’s a moment about halfway through “Lover,” one of the standout tracks from AEON RINGS’ 2022 album Enemy, where Davey Partains explodes. Don’t get in my way when he performs this live. I’m going to lose my fucking mind.
BlakLight – “Nightmares”
One of the bands I’m most excited about seeing is California’s BlakLight. They’re making their East Coast debut at Absolution and will perform tracks from their albums Music in a Time of Uncertainty and Into the Void. I have a long list of songs I can’t wait to hear live, and “Nightmares” is near the top.
Empathy Test – “Losing Touch”
I caught Empathy Test on their last tour of the States, and they’re a marvel. But that was before they released Monsters, my favorite album of 2020. “Losing Touch” is their most popular track, but they’re one of those bands where every song is amazing. I can’t wait to hear them all.
Light Asylum – “A Certain Person”
Light Asylum’s Shannon Funchess wields one of the most powerful voices in the dark scene. She’ll probably close her set with the goth club mainstay, “Dark Allies.” But don’t sleep on other tracks like “A Certain Person,” which showcases Shannon’s extraordinary gift for melody and romanticism. Plus, horse whinnies.
Nuovo Testamento – “Heartbeat”
Another hot band touring that I have yet to see. Nuovo Testamento have resurrected the ’80s Italo disco sound with a modern, darkwave edge. “Heartbeat,” one of my favorite tracks, is equal parts rollerdisco and Jellybean Benitez-era Madonna. I will be on the front row for this set, dancing my ass off.
Priest – “Neuromancer”
On the opening night of Absolution, I finally get to see a band that’s been at the top of my bucket list for a while. Sweden’s Priest has been touring the U.S., but seeing them headline a music festival should be a magical experience.
Sydney Valette – “Station Stop”
French artist Sydney Valette is coming to America. Last year’s Home Alone was one of my favorite albums of the year, and its single “Station Stop” one of my favorite songs. This pounding beat should light up the audience at Saturday night’s show.
Wingtips – “After the Storm”
Chicago darkwave band Wingtips is one of my favorite new acts. Their debut album, Exposure Therapy, was number three on my list of the best albums of 2019. I’m excited to see their sound translated to a live experience, especially their throbbing dancefloor bomb, “After the Storm.”