After a 6-year hiatus, Health returns with their new album “Death Magic”; the sounds of dark, ambient, synth-pop tell a dreamy collection of dark realizations that can still capture listeners on the dance floor. It’s upbeat and dark, but mostly different in the sense of its eerie echoes and catchy melodies. Health claims its genre to be Noise Makers, which makes sense when you learn that most of the sounds are that of real instruments and homemade synths.
Health first blew up in 2007 when they remixed the Crystal Castles’ track Crimewave, followed shortly by their first album only a month later, and opened up for Nine Inch Nails in 2008 for five months of their tour. A few albums later Health also produced the sound track for the video game Max Payne 3 and featured the track High Pressure Dave in Grand Theft Auto V.
After making Health well established within the alternative scene, “Death Magic” finally answers the fans’ call. The lyrics are depressing because they’re true, melodic and dreary, while oddly enlightening. “We lie awake at night / We’re tired of waiting / Too high to sleep / Life is strange / We die, and we don’t know why.” The first single off the album New Coke was released in late April 2015, followed by the album’s release on August 7th on Vista Loma Records. Stonefist was released as the 2nd single in June, and Men Today in July.
“Death Magic” starts off with an industrial build that becomes gritty while still maintaining a pop structure to the songs. It’s got a dark-retro vibe throughout the entire album, with lyrics that will echo inside your head long after the music stops. If you’re a fan of Crystal Castles you will notice a lot of similarities with their sounds, but Health has a bit more of an industrial sound, loaded with more grittiness, and a higher contrast between dreamy and edgy. Their sound live is supposedly way more captivating and massive. It’s definitely an experience added to my bucket list.
Now that autumn is upon us we can look forward to HEALTH making a Toronto stop on their tour. They hit the Horseshoe Tavern on November 26th in Toronto, and tickets can be purchased here. This is a tour you don’t want to miss, especially after listening to “Death Magic”.
3. MEN TODAY
4. FLESH WORLD (UK)
5. COURTSHIP II
6. DARK ENOUGH
9. NEW COKE
10. L.A. LOOKS
11. HURT YOURSELF
12. DRUGS EXIST