The Universal Sign For Choking is the solo prject of New Jersey musician Jeff Pupa, previously the singer/guitarist/songwriter for the band Vows (2012 to 2017). Per Pupa, this solo endeavor pursues a “gloom popapproach to themes of loss, love, and memory in ways that are moving and emotionally draining. The music incorporates elements of synth and electronics, industrial, ambient black metal, pop noir, and the fuzzy reverberation of shoegaze.”
“House of Ants” is a just-released track from the project, showing its convincing aesthetic well. The one-minute mark sees the entry of vocals, with a droopy post-punk guitar and rhythm section accompanying prancing, ominous synth tones. I’m reminded of if The Chameleons UK crossed their deeply intense post-punk rhythms and nonchalant vocal presence with the dark synth-tinged stylishness of The Cure.
Look for more from this project in the near future, with a self-released, self-titled release in mid August, available on all streaming services.