Formed in 2017, Black Bouquet aren’t exactly a “new artist,” but neither are their influences. With their first single, “Until You’re Gone” appearing on Spotify in 2020, they already had an extremely well-formed sound, comprised of Joy Division-era post punk synths, goth and art rock drums and arrangements, Cure-inspired guitars and Killers-emo-era everything else, even in the early stages all the members of Black Bouquet were at the top of their game. This “new” sound made up of all the best parts of emo indie has only continue to develop through two more singles and an EP, and now the large six-piece ensemble band are ready to release their debut album, Pray to the Knife, in February.
With the first single and video from Pray to the Knife, called “Run and Hide” just released, fans can now hear what’s in store for the rest of the album. “Run and Hide” is probably the most straight up an down emo track on Pray to the Knife, giving My Chemical Romance-meets-The Killers-meets-“Love Will Tear Us Apart” synths. There’s a decent punch of metal to this song as well, with vocalist Violet O adding more goth sensibility with a vibrato to the vox that connotes She Wants Revenge vibes.
While the rest of the album is just as well-composed and performed as “Run and Hide,” there is a lot of variance in style, as Black Bouquet prove again that, despite being in black and grey, they’re certainly not monochromatic in sound. The intro track, “My Love” toggles back and forth between minimal acoustic, almost folkish acoustic guitars and raging, theatrical goth metal. “Prom,” on the other hand, is driven by deep, Michael Rumple’s deep, heavy Disintegration-era Cure-style drums whilst the guitars are lighter and funkier. “Serpents” combines 80s new wave synths with guitar rock and the album closer, the title track is more of a theatrical goth lullaby.
No matter which of the many styles strikes a fan’s fancy, all of Pray to the Knife is composed, mixed and performed to perfection. If Black Bouquet had come along in 2006, they would have easily ruled the emo world and possibly even united it. Now, however, they stand to resurrect it with modernized techniques, electronic flare, a full orchestral compliment and more drama than their predecessors could have imagined. Here’s hoping they do bring back the Scene scene, because this album and the band that created it deserve to be celebrated.
“Run and Hide” is available now on Black Bouquet’s Bandcamp and Spotify along with the rest of their stunning discography. There will be one more teaser track in late December before Pray to the Knife drops in full on February 16. Check out their other videos on YouTube.