Hungarian dark pop duo Black Nail Cabaret had one of my favorite songs of 2020, the sweetly sinister “My Casual God,” taken from their stellar album Gods Verging on Sanity (review), released through Dependent Records last May. The husband and wife duo are still riding the wave of momentum that this release gave them, and have released a new music video for the track “Maelstrom,” as well as an EP featuring a couple of remixes and a B-side from the Gods Verging on Sanity sessions.
The music video, directed by Richard Besenczi, deals in isolation and separation, therefore being very much on the nose for the current state of affairs. With deserts, face masks, and plastic screens between Emese and Krisztian, the real-life couple behind BNC, this is very much a video which is a product of the times. That said, it’s a statement about loving endlessly, as the song declares that “love is the greatest struggle of all.”
Two different mixes of the track join the single edit, the first being an in-house Fixation Mix. This one is a bit more of a club track, with a slightly quicker tempo, less of Emese’s vocals, and more emphasis on the snare hits in the programming. Meanwhile, the Man+Machine remix is another fun club hit, with a fake-out fade before Emese’s vocals come in around the two minute mark. As much love as I have for the single edit, it’s a shame that this version isn’t getting played in clubs right now, as I could see many Valentine's Day-themed events getting some mileage out of this remix.
“You Lessen I Die” is a haunting piano-driven ballad, with Emese making the most of her lower range. Even with the electronics kick in after the halfway mark, they don’t overtake the track, settling into a supporting role for Krisztian’s piano work and Emese’s incredible voice.
See the music video for “Maelstrom” and stream/purchase the EP below: