2|on some faraway beach
3|blood on the snow
Limited edition maxi-CD, 4 all-new songs. Continuing the revival of Black tape for a blue girl’s classic 90s darkwave/ethereal sound.
Continuing stylistically from 2016’s These fleeting moments, this EP features the same band. Oscar & Dani sing, Nick plays viola, Brian plays drums, and Chase plays guitars & synths. Sam wrote the songs and plays guitar & electronics.
The lyrics are darker and bleaker than any of my previous releases; I sense the theme is futility, though perhaps more specifically it’s about dedication to lost & hopeless causes. The dark mood of the last year of American politics created a desolate and worried anxiety as I wrote these songs. Without addressing the current situation directly, this is a musical expression of the discord and pointless chaos we’ve gone through. The senselessness, the desolation, the uncertainty and fear about principles we have to abandon; this maxi finds a path to express this. The somberness embraces you; you aren’t alone and isolated.
The narrator in “The rubicon” dedicates himself to a cause that overthrows common beliefs; he barrels forward while wondering if it’s misplaced trust and faith he placed in the treason and rebellion he supports.
“On some faraway beach” reflects on the death of a friend/partner/parent, and wondering how to continue after their passing.
The narrator in “The apostate” faces religious conflict as he obsesses on his flaws and how he failed his god, persecuting himself in the name of the deity he fears.
I released Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s 70-minute These fleeting moments album in August of 2016. It was the first new release from Blacktape in 7 years and the first in 17 years with original vocalist Oscar Herrera. The deluxe limited edition CD and 2-LP was funded by my fans on Kickstater. The album was also supported by my wonderful Patreon patrons who give a monthly contribution towards creating my art.
As I wrapped up that Kickstarter campaign, I promised myself — and all of you — that I wouldn’t fall back into a non-productive slump. I decided to stay focused on making new music; towards that end I set myself a goal of writing a maxi by the new year. Well, I did it! These 4 songs (18 minutes of music) are the results. They’re all-new tracks created and recorded after These fleeting moments was released.
I understand I might lose some fans for clearly expressing where I stand. But I think an artist has to speak up for what they believe rather than keep it tame & generic; it’s not my job to make sure every fan feels comfortable. Art is about edginess, leaving the listener/viewer unsettled. My belief is that artists should support the right of all people to live the life they choose. To me, that doesn’t seem like a radical statement. Maybe on January 21st, it will be.
oscar herrera • vocals || danielle herrera • vocals || nick shadow • viola || brian viglione • drums || chase dobson • baritone guitar, bass & string & horn ensemble, track 1 || sam rosenthal • electronics & acoustic guitar
This release was funded at Kickstarter with a campaign to raise $1500 to create a collectible edition of Blood on the snow for the supporters. They reached the goal in 4 days! 12 hours later the 100 Exclusive Edition CDs (signed, numbered, with backer’s name in the booklet) were all pledged. An additional 50 unsigned / unnumbered Standard Edition CDs were added, which sold through on the final day of the campaign. 50 additional standard copies are for the band and a few for Audiogloble, Projekt’s Italian distributor.
Click to Join, hit send, and I’ll add you to the list. – Sam
From Salotto Cult
Ispirato in egual misura alle opere di Franz Kafka e di Marcel Duchamp, Blood on the Snow è – dopo trenta anni di onorata carriera – il nuovo lavoro per Black Tape For a Blue Girl, a sei mesi dall’ultimo These Fleeting Moments. Le atmosfere non si allontanano molto da quelle che hanno portato la band di Sam Rosenthal a primeggiare nell’ambiente della dark-wave. Quattro movimenti che, seppur distanti da atmosfere solari – spesso, anzi, risentono di una cupezza di fondo che poi è il marchio di fabbrica degli americani – hanno il pregio di risultare tutt’altro che deprimenti. Il merito, essenzialmente, va attribuito proprio alla visione d’insieme che lo stesso Rosenthal riesce a trasmettere alle sue composizioni, grazie ad un arrangiamento certosino, quasi manieristico, in grado di infonderle quella patina di classicità che diventa sinonimo di perfezione stilistica.
Strumentali di crescente intensità che si perdono tra archi sempre più lontani, atmosfere medievaleggianti intrise di incantevoli voci: quella dello storico vocalist Oscar Herrera e di sua figlia Danielle. E avanti così, tra richiami ad un’elettronica piuttosto minimale, suoni vicini alla musica da camera e percussioni di intima fattura. Un mini-album solenne ed evocativo che gioca tutto il suo splendore sul dualismo candore-violenza per sottolineare ancor di più l’aspetto mistico e surreale della sua musica. Tracce di sangue su neve meravigliosamente a loro agio nelle accecanti partiture d’ignoto in cui si sviluppa l’arte del sacerdote di Portland. Un altro sublime gesto artistico che a quanto pare avrà presto un ulteriore seguito. -Wes Xiv
Reviews Editor –
From Ver Sacrum
A quanto pare, i Black Tape For A Blue Girl, progetto di Sam Rosenthal, sono sempre in piena fase creativa: è da poco uscito un nuovo lavoro, un EP con quattro tracce delle quali l’artista statunitense aveva dato notizia già da un po’. L’ispirazione che guida Blood On The Snow, questo il titolo del disco, è analoga a quella alla base del precedente These Fleeting Moments: suoni spiccatamente ethereal si stemperano in scenari oscuri e drammatici, le voci di Oscar Herrera e Danielle Herrera si alternano nel suscitare pathos e sogno, emozione e malinconia e i testi sono per lo più disperatamente tristi. Apre “The Rubicon” con una chitarra acustica bellissima ma vagamente funerea, cui, più in là, si aggiunge l’incisiva suggestione degli archi; sul canto doloroso di Oscar Herrera niente altro si può dire se non che raggiunge livelli di intensità indescrivibile. Subito dopo, in “On Some Faraway Beach” le tastiere e gli archi disegnano un morbido tessuto lirico, ricco di preziosi dettagli, languidamente ‘istoriato’ dalla voce di Danielle Herrera, che contribuisce con momenti di autentica poesia. La lunga strumentale “Blood on the snow I”, poi, evoca visioni tetre quanto irreali con un gioco, ancora una volta, di tastiere e archi, da cui scaturisce una ‘sostanza’ densa, uniforme e anche un po’ ipnotica: nei sei minuti e passa di musica non si riesce a mantenere la concentrazione ma – l’effetto è forse voluto – non si può fare a meno di vagare con la mente e abbandonarsi a sogni e fantasie . Ma alla fine “The Apostate” ci riporta alla realtà e conclude con sonorità classicheggianti un po’ solenni e le tonalità appassionate di Oscar Herrera un piccolo pregevole lavoro che, onestamente, ci lascia con il dispiacere che duri così poco.
Reviews Editor –
From The Noise Beneath the Snow
Two things that can never be said about Sam Rosenthal are these: 1). He hasn’t consistently reinvented Black Tape for a Blue Girl over the 31 years since the release of The Rope. (By the way, has it really been that long?) 2). He hasn’t had the fans at the forefront of his interests.
The latter is historically clear whether the case is discounts, limited editions, or even “name your own price” digital downloads via Bandcamp. It’s likely that the trust of support either this route or via kickstarter campaign has helped nurture Projekt’s longevity.
Enter the Blood on the Snow maxi-CD which arrives on the heels of last year’s These Fleeting Moments album. Oscar Herrera returns on vocals. Danielle Herrera also appears on vocals. Rounding out the staff are Nick Shadow on viola, Brian Viglione on drums, Chase Dobson on baritone guitar, bass & string& horn ensemble-“The Rubicon” and of course Sam Rosenthal on electronics & acoustic guitar.
Blood on the Snow is easily reminiscent of the days of Remnants of a Deeper Purity, perhaps mostly because of the presence of Oscar’s voice as well as the viola.
For whatever reason, however, the imagery presents itself herein as somewhat stark, yet still warm, perhaps in a dimly lit, intimate, privately held performance. Perhaps that’s not too far out of the question given the longstanding intimate relationship between Black Tape for the Blue Girl and the fans. Oscar’s tracks serve as the bookends. Track 2, “On Some Faraway Beach,” is a short track carried beautifully by Danielle and built upon a very simple synth/viola background. Track 3, “Blood on the Snow” is like the string section of an orchestra in a hypnotic mesmerizing swirl.
This is a very nice portrait into another chapter of Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s history. Moreover, as any new or old Black Tape fan will likely tell you, a common touched upon theme is Reminders…whether it’s Black Tape in and of itself, other Projekt artists or even in some of the Project titles…(i.e. “Of these Reminders etc.). So while this release might remind us of the days of Remnants, let’s be reminded that the snow covers that which waits to grow again. When artists pour their lifeblood into their work, it is also an invite for us as listeners to help it to grow.
Blood on the Snow is a “Name Your Own Price” EP release and extremely worthy of your support. Given the long-standing relationship between Projekt and the listeners, I think it is safe to say that the relationship will continue to grow with generous offers such as these. The link below has some other “Name Your Own Price” releases. But show some support so Sam can continue to make such offers. https://www.projekt.com/store/product-category/product-type/digital/
Reviews Editor –
From Goth Post
Black Tape For A Blue Girl is an American goth/darkwave/ambient act, which was originally formed in 1986 by Sam Rosenthal (Sam) from Portland, Oregon. Sam is the songwriter, lyricist and producer for the band. They released seven albums in their first 13 years, covering the mid-80s through late-90s. Current members of this band other than Sam are: Oscar Herrera (vocals), Danielle Herrera (vocals), nick shadow (viola), Brian Viglione (drums), Chase Dobson (baritone guitar, bass & string & horn ensemble). Their latest EP, Blood on the snow, was released this month, featuring four tracks with classic 90s darkwave/ethereal sound.
The album takes off with a dark themed and emotionally powerful track titled “The Rubicon”, which introduces a subtle acoustic guitar tones, providing a background for Oscar’s clear vocals resonating with a gothic, hopeless vibe. The lyrics on this track revealed heart-felt desire for hope and yet somehow all hope was lost, like it was just a fantasy. Half way through the track, an emotionally powerful vibe bursts out with a deep and epic instrumentals.
Overall, a great first track to start the album with, lasting for more than four minutes. Meanwhile, Sam takes credit for all the electronics & acoustic guitar background on this track. Moving on to the second track in the album, titled “On some faraway beach”, where the mood and style shifted towards a brighter melodic vibe when compared to the previous track yet it had a gloomy aura of its own. Sinking down deeper into the track, the listeners would experience an ethereal ambient theme which gradually provides a background layer for the female vocalist’s heartbroken and yet dreamy voice. The chilling piano and synths were absolutely stunning when they synced with the lyrics. Nearing the end, it all gradually fades away, like drifting far away on a piece of ice, while losing sight of the ones you love. This track would definitely leave the listeners breathless and longing for more.
After passing half way through the EP, the third track from the album kicks in, with the title “Blood on the snow I”. Which is the lengthiest track in the album, purely composed of instrumentals. All the emotions that were packed into the viola by the artist could be felt by the listeners who love these kind of music, and would make them wanting more and simply wanting to stand and give a grand ovation for this excellent work.
Finally, the last track from the album with the title “The Apostate” resonated with a more serious and bitter-melancholy vibe. The drums and the electronics in this piece were played with perfect sync, giving a crisper backdrop to the male operatic vocals. In my opinion, this track had beautiful operatic vocals and powerfully orchestrated music which was perfect for this style of music, the story was almost like an opera that builds and fades from epic to smooth, beautiful music.
In conclusion, this album is one of the latest work from the artist, and it is really fine tuned to perfection, with just four tracks the artists have demonstrated their talents. Favorite tracks from the album were “The Rubicon” and “On some faraway beach” which were inclined more towards my type of music and did make me hit the replay button quite often. So don’t hesitate, this is a “must have” if you don’t already have all of their previous works! It’s an awesome album and could be your next favorite.
They are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blacktapeforabluegirl/ -Kostas Sotiriou