Arctic Plateau is the missing piece of today’s post-rock, indie/shoegaze puzzle we were looking for. Founded in 2006 by Gianluca Divirgilio, the band released the first full-length album in 2009, followed by a collaborative album in 2011 with Les Discrets.
We have been taking a deep look into the band’s new album “Songs of Shame” and we were not disappointed. Released after an eight-year hiatus, “Songs of shame” channels the themes of sadness, sorrow, or ghosts that can haunt us. Withdrawing influences from several musical genres such as indie, shoegaze, post-rock, the album is magisterially mixed into a homogenous, unmistakable style.
“Songs of Shame” features ten tracks that can do a lot of healing when in crisis, but can also mess you up if you’re in the wrong state of mind. The first two tracks – ‘Song of Shame’ and ‘Saturn Girl’ – are slightly similar, with delicate guitar riffs allowing the vocals to shine in the most shoegazing way. The album continues with ‘Dark Rising Sun’ and introduces more textures to it, performed like there is an apparent purpose in mind – to detoxify your spirit.
As Arctic Plateau clearly identifies as a promoter for personal experience, “Songs of Shame” is proven to be an emotional rollercoaster, starting with disarmingly upbeat aesthetics of post-punk to balance the often grim themes contained within the lyrics, and expectedly reaching the climax in ‘No Need to Understand’ by revealing a different tone to Gianluca’s vocals.
“Songs of Shame’ is about discrimination, focusing on it using the ancient feeling of shame. Shame is one of the tools with which entire societies in time have fed themselves, putting limitations to and censoring the freedom of a human being. I simply described its silhouette, shaking it up a little bit with the everlasting and almost never resolved the issue of the mother/son relationship. What this song wants is to sublimate the pain one feels when they get discriminated against.”–the band recalls.
You could have guessed from the start that the album is all together with a brain-stabbing battle, bursting in self-reproach, guilt, and self-doubt.
The mood continues with ‘Venezia’ and ‘The Enemy Inside’, capturing those fleeting feelings and memories into idyllic settings where they can endure complete. The DNA of the last two songs – ‘One Way Street’ and ‘Red Flowers’ – shares a slower sparser pace of composition but still reflects on the emotional themes and reaches through the edges of depression and despair.
The album is a kind of an autobiography where a state of diminished density develops, so relief and liberation can finally occur. Due to his experience, Gianluca begins to seek a way out with “Songs of Shame”. No wonder you will start smiling in recognition of hearing the band’s poetry sang in emotional tensions and exposed by indie, shoe-gaze guitar textures embroidering a record that discovers its path through. Using music as self-medicate to cope with sadness in particular really hits home, and it is rather comforting to know an artist you look up to is fighting the same battles you are.
You can order “Songs of Shame” at this location.