Vandal Moon – Black Kiss (2020)

Vandal Moon is a postpunk/new wave project from Santa Cruz, California. It features the talents of producer Blake Voss. He’s been releasing music for Vandal Moon since 2013.

“Black Kiss” Vandal Moon’s fifth album featuring thirty-eight minutes of nostalgic postpunk feels. The cover artwork by Neil Scrivin features a very postpunk, almost vampire-like like aesthetic that perfectly matches the dark attitude of the album. I really dig this art style—it reminds me of something Patrick Nagel might have done, only reinterpreted for the Synthwave age.

The idea of union is an important theme to keep in mind into understanding why “Black Kiss” is artistically relevant in the post-Synthwave era. Keep in mind that “Black Kiss” is a concept album that tells of a “futuristic love story of two androids escaping enslavement and they have to do some unthinkable things to find that freedom.” Even though this is an overplayed theme that’s probably been used by quite a few synthwave albums, there’s something divergent about re-contextualizing it from postpunk perspective. Vandal Moon recognizes that staying tied to the past keeps us enslaved to our nostalgia—which in turn keeps us from moving forward into a mode of social progression.

Musically, “Black Kiss” is aesthetically perfect. In my mind, I could see models walking on a runway to this album. The song selection is arranged carefully, and I wish more producers would consider how important it is to properly order their songs before calling it an album. There isn’t a track on “Black Kiss” that isn’t single worthy. It’s sleek, romantic, catchy, dreamy, nostalgic, and atmospheric. This is a lovely album and certainly worthy of your time and attention. It’s definitely going to be on some “best of” lists, including my own.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Postpunks, gothic ravers, and people who like their music sounding retro as fuck.

Stand-Out tracks: “Robot Lover” (my favorite), “Hurt,” “No Future,” “Black Kiss,” “We Live Forever.”

Album Color Profile: #D500F9

You can find all things Vandal Moon at

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