January 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Mode Moderne – Occult Delight

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Mode Moderne

Occult Delight

Light Organ Records

Street: 01.21

Mode Moderne = Morrissey + Joy Division + Help Stamp Out Loneliness

For their third LP, Vancouver outfit Mode Moderne have embraced their goth pop style wholeheartedly and created their most confident album to date. As on 2010’s Ghosts Emerging and 2012’s Strange Bruises, Phillip Intile croons melancholy over “real goth” post-punk with subdued glimpses of cheery melodic pop, but here, Joshua Stevenson’s production polishes the band’s sound for a greater balance of dark and light. Alongside brooding tunes like “She, Untamed,” “Severed Heads” and “Thieving Babies’ Breath” there’s the genteel jangle fade-in of “Strangle the Shadows,” The Chameleons–like chime of “Dirty Dream #3” and the female harmonies on the upbeat “Unburden Yourself.” The fruit of this effort is “Baby Bunny,” one of the finest indie pop songs that I’ve heard in the past year. The aptly named Occult Delight is filled with such repeat elegance. –Christian Schultz
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