PHOTO BY @LISSYELLELARICCHIA
Rare DM states, “’Night Watch’ is about dating a heroin user in NYC when I worked a late night cocktail waitressing shift and would come home to my s/o passed out & nodding off. I would feel like I was on the “night watch” and always worried I would find them dead. I would try to make them stop using and they would tell me I was worthless. The bass synth is meant to emulate a heart rate monitor, the vibraphone synth line was a one-take improvisation on a Casio CZ 5000 I found on the street in SoHo.”
Vanta Black is the debut album from Rare DM, the solo project of Brooklyn singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Erin Hoagg. Following in the shadows of the previously released “Almost a Year” and the more recent single “Caracal,” Vanta Black tackles subjects and moods fit for the titular hue, itself the blackest manmade pigment (currently under exclusive license to artist Anish Kapoor’s studio). Erin’s Billie Holliday-indebted croon lilts with the relaxed calm of someone whose already cried away all the tears they could muster long ago— too exhausted to fret and now comfortable enough in the darkness to blend in with it. She sings tales of relationships damaged by distance and destructive tendencies, somewhat reluctantly relieved by freedom yet ridden with separation anxiety. Her pulsating, twilight-lit productions that accompany recall mid-aughts-to-modern-day takes on goth, post-punk, and new wave. Perhaps in a nod to the still-burgeoning live synth and dance scene in her hometown of Brookyln, Hoagg prefers to play her concert sets fully live, all analog, seamlessly blending Octotrack, Machinedrum, triggers, and synth.
Rare DM’s debut album is set to release April 12, 2019.