10 New Artists You Need to Know: October 2015 Edit
Posted on: October 28, 2015
By: Reed Fischer
Sounds Like: Macabre millennial nightmares, softened by dream-pop tranquilizers, reverberating from a casket-shaped music box.
For Fans of: Lana Del Rey, Elliott Smith, the films of Harmony Korine
Why You Should Pay Attention: Nicole Dollanganger's gothic folk songs detailing mental illness, guns, sexual violence, poverty and death are as beautiful as they are brutal. After exploring abandoned buildings growing up in Stouffville, Ontario — a small town near Toronto — the taxidermy enthusiast studied film at Ryerson University and started posting her dark, cinematic songs on Bandcamp. Soundbites and grisly themes from horror movies, Welcome to the Dollhouse and school shootings amplify these lo-fi bedroom recordings. Backed by acoustic guitar, Dollanganger's winsome cover of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" off 2013's Columbine EP strips away the original's party vibe to its chilling lyrical core. A demo of her latest album, Natural Born Losers, eventually reached her countrywoman Grimes. "It blew up my brain so hard that I literally started Eerie [Organization, a new artist collective] to fucking put it out," the art-pop experimenter said in a press release. They performed together opening for Lana Del Rey in June and Dollanganger is supporting Grimes' fall tour.
She Says: "I fell in love most with aggression in vocal delivery. Even when someone's singing something that isn't aggressive, but they yell it or scream it, it strikes me. Ceremony comes to mind. They're incredible. [Frontman Ross Farrar's] vocal performances, I was like, "Holy shit." Type O Negative, I was taken with how [Peter Steele] fluctuated between really dark topics and really light topics. Some of the sounds were really industrial and heavy, and some were softer. That kind of mixture is really intriguing. [Marilyn] Manson does the same thing."
"I really enjoy hitting record on GarageBand. For an hour and a half I'll just freestyle. I'll get a chord progression going and start singing. I'll record everything. Most of it's trash, but usually there's a line at least — like 'drinking a cup of alligator blood' — then I'll build around that."
Hear for Yourself: Echoing the pulse of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt," Dollanganger sweetly toes the line of bruised love on "You're So Cool."