Ok, so BLACK NAIL CABARET have never sat on the brighter side of synthpop.

Not devoid of melody however, their monochromatic approach to electronica revels in minimalistic use of gizmos, positioning the one-time London domiciled Hungarians somewhere in the shadowed corners of the synth bubble.

Emese Illes-Arvai who partnered with Sophie Tarr in 2008, debuted with a surprising version of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’, giving it the darker, edgier spin. Two and a half albums later (each gathering the pair wider and wider audiences), Tarr left, enabling Illes-Arvai to partner with her husband to drag ‘Dichromat’ over the finish line.

With BLACK NAIL CABARET continuing on and now fully established into the scene, they release a three song EP ‘Bête Noire’, this time going for the throat.

The title song, accompanied by the very poignant video directed and storyboarded by Emese hersele, is described as “a distorded mirror, where people are rising against a faceless dictator, to no avail” has been inspired by the current political situation in Hungary.

The flick sees Emese and her black clad followers, joined by a disgruntled factory worker in order to break the establishment. The heavy vibrating synth rises to parallel stomping EBM, with its gyrating qualities, leading to the punch line “I think I wanna kill you, but I believe in peace, bitch!”

The duo go for socialist connotations both in the video and the song’s lyrics (“If I march against you, I think I’ll have an army”), entering the dictator’s chambers, which strongly resemble the style of any communist headquarters, trying to look for something to provide a sign. Instead, they seem to fail…

The evident calm comes with ‘Lorraine’. We’ve had ‘Veronica’ and now ‘Lorraine’, the one who’s “always been so kind to my heart”, and now is experiencing her own tragedy over a melodic beat with gritty synth elements, which turn out to be not so calming after all.

The production is concluded with the instrumental ‘Eleven’ which beautifully sums up the three piece outing with delicate dose of intricate sounds, gently piercing he surface with unearthly aspects and unusual sci-fi ingredients.

BLACK NAIL CABARET are surely on the roll with the new release, which heavily pierces through the sea of calmness with the punchy ‘Bête Noire’ and dwindles down through ‘Lorraine’ to the delicate blanket of ‘Eleven’.

Now, for the new album please…


‘Bête Noire’ is available as a download bundle from https://blacknailcabaret.bandcamp.com/album/b-te-noire

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Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
22nd June 2018