Artio’s blend of darkwave and indie pop proves infectious on ‘All Things End’, a fatalist ode to a doomed world. Our world. So a bit of a downer really.
It’s a big step up for the young trio. ‘All Things End’ sounds expansive: it builds from stratum of softly clinking piano keys and smoky guitars, before clicking into a smooth synthpop structure. The cavernous synthbass of ‘Hide Them From Me’ has been side-stepped for glitchy electronics, echoes and whispers. While it doesn’t aim for pure synthwave grandeur as some of their earlier songs have, this moody restless tone suits them well.
Artio can be counted on for sledgehammer choruses, and ‘All Things End’ is no exception. The booming voice of singer Hol is enough to rend glass, it’s a huge performance evocative of the vocal aerobics of Florence Welsh.
The contrast between bittersweet melody and barnstorming chorus is what really sets ‘All Things End’ apart. This two-speed doom rocker is loaded with minor details that really add to the atmosphere: I’m a fan of the ticking clocks, and am glad to find Zedd hasn’t entirely ruined the concept for me. Here they represent the creep of time and the fragile state of our world. That’s appropriate. The world really does feel like it’s ending at the moment. It’s a shitty time for a lot of people. But ‘All Things End’ carries a glimmer of hope. It suggests that there are things worth fighting for. Companionship, love, the future. That’s a very worthy message, and one that’s needed now more than ever.
On a final note, Artio are donating all proceeds from ‘All Things End’ to Black Lives Matter. If you needed any further reason to listen, there it is.
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