pMad, the project of Paul Dillon, has released a new single, ‘Down,’ delving into the impact abusive relationships can have on one’s identity and self-esteem. Based in Portumna, Co.Galway, Ireland, pMad combines goth, indie rock, and post-rock with electro, exploring a gothic underground sound reminiscent of Sister of Mercy, Bauhaus, or Depeche Mode.

According to his press release, “the lyrics paint a vivid picture of the emotional turmoil that arises when personal safety and self-worth are threatened, reminding us that until we confront these issues, the cycle of suffering will persist. However, with the power of self-reflection and realizing life’s value, one can choose to break free from the cycle and reclaim their self-esteem and identity.

While listening to ‘Down,’ it’s getting harder and harder to believe that it’s only a one-man band project. pMad’s newest release is a killer track that explodes with a nostalgic familiarity and intensity you just do not hear in bands today. This experimental form of electronic-driven dark wave music feels so energetic that it grabs you from the first beat and is not letting you go any time soon. Although ‘Down‘ is a high-energy dance floor anthem with a solid driving bassline, due to the powerful message it conveys, darkness lurks beneath the surface, giving the track an added edge. The track arrives with an incredible and intense accompanying music video.

Moreover, with the aid of electronics, alt-dark gothic style, rumbling guitars, and vocals, a sad song cycle seems to unfold, somewhat soothing you into a comfortable mellow mood with its addictive poison spread slowly. The track is very ’90s in many ways – from the impressive Depeche Mode attitude to the incredible beat, backed by guitar tunes. You may find heavy breathing beneath these lyrics while pMad’s voice goes further into your subconsciousness. All these things make the music flow beautifully; the track is ideally designed to soothe and energize, from the solid tempos to the lusty yet raw production. I’d say that ‘Down’ transfers a particular type of empowerment, as it is highly expressive. Paul’s incomparable and shadowy vocal style adds an extra layer of eminence, rendering pMad a first-class act for anyone passionate about dark and gothic music.

Overall, there is a form of sonic nostalgia here in the attitude of experimentation. This release is a gorgeous track, an endeavor worthy of being listened to and bought, as pMad deserves much more exposure than he’s probably getting. The track is also packed with interesting acerbic sonic texturing to make it a worthwhile listen in its own right. Ultimately, I found myself uttering these words out loud to nobody: “I need more.” More of this feeling.

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Still can't tell exactly my origins because of my suspiciously ‘Chinese eyes’.