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194. New Order – True Faith / 1963 (1987) - From the Ashes of Joy

Welcome to WEEK 194 of 4T! (Video Episode #20) New Order – True Faith / 1963 (1987)

From the Ashes of Joy

Everything comes from something. The Beatles came from a mix of skiffle and American popular music of the 1950s. Bach wouldn’t have been Bach with out the lovely and talented Deiterich Buxtehude. Nirvana name checked both the Pixies and the Monkees, and damn if you can’t hear that convergence. (Fans of New Order, you know where I’m going with this.) Back in the late 1970s, goth emerged from the punk/post-punk scene as its own subgenre. Darker, sparser, more brooding, more atmospheric, but still raw like punk. Bauhaus. Siouxsie and the Banshees, some of what the Cure did. And Joy Division.

When you have a suicidal frontman, it’s no surprise what comes out is depressive, even Divisive. But don’t overlook the Joy part of the equation. Ian Curtis and the band created music that reflected the life struggle to wring joy out of pain & suffering. It’s why their music was both dark and danceable. When he died, the remaining band members reformed into New Order – an appropriate name all things considered. And the new order of business for them was to create music that inspired people to move despite the occasional bleakness of life. Which they did. Better & better for years. Hell, their albums in this century often have moments that are as good as their best work. Yes, New Order is still doing New Stuff.

When certain fans think of New Order, they then immediately think of Depeche Mode (a band that’s also still pumping out excellent work to this day). Lots of parallels, and fans know well the divergences. The main commonalities are this: they’re both new wave bands merging electronic with rock, creating thumping and often ambiently beautiful songs that lyrically explore the darker aspects of inner & outer life. “True Faith” is one of New Order’s pinnacles, a perfect representation of all of those aspects.

So much of what I do involves the exploration of negative or uncomfortable feelings in the context of beat-driven, electronic, ambient, rock music. The most obvious example of this is from The Sunshine Seminar:

Do you have any experience with new wave or post punk or goth or techno? Do you remember when you could only be a fan of either New Order OR Depeche Mode, but not both? Do you enjoy when artists illustrate universal feelings of despondency & unsurety et al., but in a funky way? Discuss dammit

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