Former Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age singer Mark Lanegan is on the cusp of releasing Gargoyle, his tenth solo album in almost 30 years, and it’s a good’un. It features, as always, Lanegan’s smoky, whiskey-soaked baritone singing voice (if you’re unfamiliar, imagining a more soulful Leonard Cohen puts you in the ballpark), and it continues his ongoing explorations of synth music, which can be pretty jarring to Screaming Trees fans who haven’t kept up with him. But they’re not terribly new—his 2014 Phantom Radio veered in that direction, and examples of his voice accompanying electronics go back at least ten years; most notably, in the ‘oughts, he collaborated on the song “Black River” with Bomb the Bass (there’s a fantastic Gui Boratto remix of that, by the way) and on Soulsavers’ extremely cool trip-hop/gospel album It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s the Way You Land.
Gargoyle is credited to The Mark Lanegan Band, but most of the music was composed by Rob Marshall of Exit Calm and Humanist. The rest is by Queens of the Stone Age’s Alain Johannes, an actual mainstay of Lanegan’s band. The different composition styles don’t prevent the album from cohering; its musical dichotomies are matched by lyrical ones. Lanegan’s themes here are heavily adorned with angels and demons, the Devil and God (there’s a passage in the LP’s closer “Old Swan” that could have come straight from a praise song, and the album is being released by Heavenly Recordings).
The album won’t be out until April 28th, but a couple of songs are available—both Lanegan/Marshall compositions. The straight-up gothy “Nocturne” was released online back in February, and the more uptempo “Beehive” is represented by a new video, a sad and charming little vampire love story by Zhang and Knight. The song features guitar contributions from Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli, and it’s Dangerous Minds’ privilege to premiere the video for you today.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Kurt Cobain and Mark Lanegan’s short-lived Leadbelly tribute band