‘Putting an emotional experience at the heart of it, it’s a dark rock release to really appreciate.’
Intro to Black Sands
Named after a natural phenomenon, the alter ego of Andrew Balfour, ‘Black Sands’ is fast becoming a phenomenon himself. Like his namesake, there is something significant to his dark rock and electro-pop beats that makes his work something to really appreciate. With inspiration coming from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Billie Eilish and Post Malone, this Milwaukee-born, Californian bred producer has been on a roll in 2020. Kicking the year off mid way through with his debut ‘The Hardest Pill to Swallow’, the months since have seen no fewer than 5 further releases. His most recent though, ‘Old Ghosts’, sees inspiration from a dark time turned into a sound that truly tempts the tastebuds of darker rock fans.
Bedded on industrial electro-pop, ‘Old Ghosts’ is a belter of a release. It carries a seductive mix of genres, drives with momentum and drips with emotional residue. You, as a listener are grabbed hook, line and sinker. But with Andrew drawing on emotional experiences, it’s little wonder it sounds as it does. Created following the recent death of his sister, him paying his respects and noting her struggles with drug abuse lies at the heart. Yet rather than wallow, he has used this as a form of motivation to acknowledge how his past has shaped who he is, and who he is becoming.
Filled with raspy drawls and intimate whispers delivered by vocalist Trenton, the lyricism is utterly enticing. Likewise, with the story being told in a way that, in the words of Andrew ‘hits the nail on the head’ you can’t fail to notice the inferences within. Below these though there is something much deeper going on and through the guitar slides and dark rock beats that lurk in the underbelly of the track, greater ambiguity appears. A bona fide sound with a devilish edge, ‘Old Ghosts’, is a track you’ll really want to plug yourself into. Just be sure to thank us later!
Full feature by Harriet Heywood