CYANIDE: the latest single from Chiffon Magnifique, a post-punk/minimal wave project from Gold Coast musician Jed A. Walters, due for release June 10, 2022. Walters (of Tesla Cøils and The Blackwater Fever fame) is offering up a fresh taste of his post-punk sounds, along with a spooky new lyric video.
Cyanide offers a blend of fast-paced Linndrum beats, ratty plucked bass guitar, mournful lead guitar twangs and Walters’ mysterious reverb-drenched baritone, delivered with a sense of melancholy and despair. “The idea for this song came from just messing around with my mother’s old nylon string guitar, while in lockdown” exclaims Jed, “…I found these sad twangy riffs and rhythms, and imagined what the bass and drums would do in my head, and the whole song was pretty much mapped out in one day. This sad-yet-frantic mood led me to pen lyrics describing conflicts that arise within a loving relationship. I guess I was thinking about how easily the people we love can change so sharply due to the stressful surroundings of our world. If we take a look around at what has happened in the past couple of years, it’s understandable that this extra pressure would inflict tension on our relationships, sometimes leading to harsh and difficult arguments in the closed-in world of lockdown. That’s what I mean by “She’s like cyanide, she’s a warhead”…sometimes the people we love need extra care to defuse that A-bomb of stress”.
The song’s tone is set by the opening guitar riff, which darts around a minor scale, its echoes surrounding the regimented bass guitar and relentless drum-machine polyrhythms, reminiscent of Joy Division, Suicide and Sisters Of Mercy. Walters’ baritone vocals lament on his love affair with “a predator”, describing their unpredictable behaviours of hibernation, zombie-like re-animation and “crying underneath the moon”. As the tension is broken with jangly jazz chords, he cries out “Girl I need you! Tell me everything’s ok…girl I want you! Don’t push me away”. A jangly acoustic guitar uplifts the energy within the chorus, where Walters ultimately accepts “She’s like cyanide, she’s a warhead, she rides the cumulonimbus into the land of the dead”.
Recorded at Jed’s home studio, Cyanide showcases a stripped-back approach to production, leaning on the careful choice of space within a mix. “I’m usually throwing everything and the kitchen sink at my mixes” says Jed, “but Cyanide is really sparse, it kind of follows the rule of threes – only three instruments can be heard at a time – more or less. Drums, bass, guitar, and space provided by this awesome Valhalla reverb plugin that I’m really liking at the moment. The key is to make it feel like we’re in a Siberian warehouse, rather than this sweaty beach town I live in.”
Cyanide is accompanied by a lyric video made up of monochromatic clips of Vincent Price’s 1959 public domain classic House On Haunted Hill. The spooky visuals provide a grand backdrop to Walters’ woeful lyricism.
A follow-up to 2021’s Abomination, and March’s Ice Witch, Cyanide is the next step for Chiffon Magnifique, also marking the bands expansion into a two-piece – with Lindsay Bright-Mync (of Debt Cult, Gardeners fame) on live bass guitar and synths. “It’s so exciting to have my music be given a new life onstage with Lindsay on board” says Jed, “he learned my songs in just two weeks, and in the shows we’ve played already, he’s brought such an extra organic quality to the show”.
JULY 20 – Vinnies Dive, Gold Coast w/ Jake Morton
JULY 22 – O’skulligans, Brisbane w/ SCRAPS & Gallery of Violence
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