We Are Not Machines – “One” (feat. Izabel)

Photo Credit: NG

“One” is a darkly atmospheric single from Amsterdam-based project We Are Not Machines, who collaborated with Canadian vocalist Izabel on the stirring track. We Are Not Machines take inspiration especially from ’80s and ’90s acts that embraced dark soundscapes within invigorating melodic songwriting — specifically, the likes of Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, and Talking Heads.

Per the band, the track is “about a twisted love relationship where the relationship only exists in the mind.” Izabel’s haunting vocals envelop amidst a lonesome piano repetition and an underlying synth arp. The additional vocal entrance — “stranded in your mind,” — ushers in a buzzing synth accompaniment amidst a chilling piano expansion, as the vocalists interchange presences seamlessly. The ghostly, industrial soundscape throughout combines with a brooding vocal delivery for a stimulating sound, one that compares fondly to Massive Attack and Depeche Mode.

This track and others featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of September 2022’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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