A darkness lingers in the deep parts of the forest, a presence unbound by corporeal convention, and occasionally, it finds its way to the edge of the trees and speaks something low and acrid against the cold night air. This is the sound which Bob Villain communicates, becoming a vessel for myriad shadows, bringing them to an audience mostly unfamiliar with such gloom and lightlessness. The Los Angeles-based musician’s work inhabits the same spectral plains as the songs of Scott Walker, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen – or the ethereal landscape of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.”
Last December, he released a 7” picture disc on Mental Illness Recordings – a label run by fellow musician Tommy Santee Klaws – which promptly sold out in 40 minutes. Featuring A-side “Far to Go” and B-side “Next Week,” this single has been repressed on red clear vinyl and is available to order today through Villain’s Bandcamp page.
To commemorate this release, Villain has shared the video for B-side “Next Week,” and it is as wonderfully surreal as you could imagine. Directed by Annie Hardy of Giant Drag, the clip finds Villain in his typical ghostly paraphernalia, with branches attached to his hands, his face painted white and a mop of jet black hair running down his shoulders. He attends a makeshift picnic, blows bubbles and swims fully-clothed in a backyard pool, all the while spending time with a woman who seems to find all of this completely normal.
The song itself is an eerie amalgam of thudding percussion, warbling synths, breathy vocals and skeletal guitar plucks. The sounds languidly move between the fringes of your periphery to the center stage of your attention. The song seems to be constructed of smoke tendrils and melancholy experiences. It’s a bit of powerful dark magic that clings tightly to your subconscious.
Villain will be playing at Little Joy in Los Angeles tonight to commemorate the repress of this 7”.