Black Bouquet – ‘Pray to the Knife’

The debut album from Raleigh, NC-based band Black Bouquet, Pray to the Knife channels an eclectic range of rock — from ’80s new-wave nostalgia to moody post-punk and emo. The concept album explores a story of survival after grief. “The narrative was influenced by events in [vocalist] Violet’s life, and driven by the tone set by the instrumentals,” the band told us in an interview last month. “It was also inspired by the works of David Lynch and assorted horror/romance movies.”

The band’s dynamic stylistic reach is evident on opening track “My Love.” Frolicking acoustics and sullen vocal contemplation — “I don’t think that we’ll grow old together,” — casts an eerie spell, traversing quickly into a roaring rock distortion with delectably ominous deepness prior to the one-minute turn. The seamless shifts between acoustic and heavier guitar emphasis are stirring, as are the vocals’ ability to shift cohesively between lusher introspection and anthemic Muse-esque passion.

The album’s first single, “Run and Hide” infuses ’80s guitar tones amidst an impassioned vocal plea “to be loved” — echoing an emo/rock/alternative intertwining in the vein of The Killers, particularly as synths and guitars coalesce during the “I run and hide,” outpouring. Another highlight, “No More Blood” struts a chilly post-punk inspiration in its trickling, ghostly guitars and moody vocals. Accompanied by a music video, “No More Blood” is further emphasis of the band’s knack for developing enjoyably eerie verses into raucously invigorating hooks. Pray to the Knife is a riveting showcase in climatic, diverse rock charisma from Black Bouquet.

Check out our interview with Black Bouquet here.

“My Love” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ 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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