Digital Leather (Shawn Foree) has shared a new single off his upcoming new album New Wave Gold. “The King Of Idiots” is out today, and of the track Foree notes, “This song is very personal for me. It’s a little stroll through the turbulent world of addiction, which I have seen destroy the lives of several people who were once close to me.I really want to convey the grand scale of destructive behavior. It can be epic and unrelenting. It was important for me to write this song because I had been carrying around so much guilt for not being able to save people from themselves. This song enabled me to release a lot of that guilt, and maybe it can do something similar for listeners.” The video for “The King Of Idiots” was self-made as Foree was recovering from Covid-19, and he finished it last week at a Holiday Inn in Des Moines, IA.
New Wave Gold will be released on September 15 via No Coast Recordings and Foree previously released “A Cut Above.”
Foree has been making music under the alias Digital Leather since the early 2000’s, and New Wave Gold is his 24th record. His music has been labeled “blitzed synth punk” (Noisey) and “rough and passionate” (All Music). The project, which began in Arizona with Foree and his childhood friend, Ryan Rousseau (Destruction Unit), was initially just an experiment, a toying around with some dusty synthesizers, Cold Wave, and a subversive disregard for audio clarity. Rousseau left early on to pursue other music, but Foree never stopped, and his writing game kept growing stronger. With New Wave Gold, Foree has shown creative maturity, and has proven himself to be a master songsmith as well as a competent producer with a penchant for sound texturing and a “mid-fi” aesthetic.
Recorded in Foree’s apartment in Omaha, Nebraska over the last few years, during which time Shawn also travelled the country doing environmental work, which lends to much of the lyrical content in the album, New Wave Gold is something uniquely wonderful. Lyrically, each song is crafted of deceivingly simple lines, but the words soon reveal their true identities: culprits to a dazzlingly moody manifesto. It’s a mid-life crisis and a global crisis smashed together and thrown onto tape. Scattered with analog synths, acoustic guitars, and a fully operational DIY approach, New Wave Gold is also reminiscent of work from groups like Sebadoh and Psychic TV.
References aside, New Wave Gold is a trenchant exploration of a self, coexisting with an often bleak and doubt-inspiring outer setting. It is the battle of the subject versus the all-consuming, fiery leviathan, the object, the world.