Blackened Rock & Roll
Pagan – Nikki Brumen (vocals), Xavier Santilli (guitar), Dan Bonnici (bass), Matt Marasco (drums) – have had what only be described as an incredible reception. the singles received spins on BBC’s Radio 1, triple j Home & Hosed, Short.Fast.Loud and The Racket and love on community radio stations right across their homeland of Australia. Global press reaction has also been somewhat rapturous for Pagan’s forthcoming debut album Black Wash, a collection of 11 songs (‘spells’, in Pagan speak) by four people who have each experienced their own individual Hells but walked through the flames together, hand in hand, brought to life by producer Mike Deslandes, in part at Abbotsford’s The Aviary and South Melbourne’s Holes and Corners studios. Together, they pay homage to their punk rock and heavy music ethics (‘The Greatest Love Songs’), draw inspiration from the dancefloors of neon-soaked discotheques (‘Year of the Dog’) and back-alley rock and roll clubs of old ( ‘Silver’), rebelling against the rules and nostalgic romanticism that seem to plague underground music to this day.
From the album curtain raiser ‘Il Malocchio Si Apre’ (‘The Evil Eye Opens’) Nikki bares her soul, her ferocious and haunting howls navigating swiftly between the theological world the band have created through striking imagery and lyrical symbolism, and the real world in which she has lived and survived. Her emotional landscape is addressed by references to the earth and the moon, light and dark (‘Death Before Disco’), two forces which seem to play the role of the chorus in this story – the ever-important voice of reason in all great tragedies. The drama of Black Wash plays out over the backdrop of a very organic, dynamic and fluent rock and roll soundtrack that bravely walks a tightrope between pretty and delicate restraint, catchy-as-hell dance rhythms and monolithically heavy walls of sound and fury, all meticulously crafted and agonizingly arranged by Daniel, Matthew and Xavier, culminating in Pagan’s deathblow, ‘Il Malocchio Si Chiude’ (‘The Evil Eye Closes’).
Embracing their Italian roots in an almost sarcastic fashion until it’s pretty much become serious, Pagan have charmed audiences with their unique candour and straight-up saucy attitude since forming in 2015. The past 18 months have seen them play coveted spots on UNIFY Festival, Yours & Owls and BIGSOUND, plus tour their blistering live show across the country with the likes of King Parrot, Clowns and most recently Rise Against this past February. They have baited us with a string of single releases including the “thunderous” (The Music) ‘Good Grief’ and ‘Imitate Me’, which was released after being named Feature Artist on triple j Unearthed. Last year Pagan announced a signing to worldwide label EVP Recordings and have signed with Hassle Records (frnkiero andthe cellabration, Casey, Petrol Girls) to release their debut album in Europe and the UK, with news of European touring to follow soon.
Record Label: EVP Recordings // Hassle Records