Many of the artists I praise these days refuse to make it easy for you. They trade in dark, complex and sometimes unsettling music. Their lyrics are cryptic, delivered with vocals which segue between mysterious, bewitching and nigh on disturbing.
This is certainly true of Melody Lynn aka Queen of the Static Opera. Genre-wise, Punktastic describes Lynn’s work as ‘industrial ambient.’ On Twitter she’s a proud ‘sci-fi vampire.’ Her debut EP Spaceships does well in presenting a curious axis around which both technology and the paranormal revolve.
Spaceships is reminiscent of both 90s Nine Inch Nails and the fetishistic allure of 80s goth rock. “Fatal/Latex Girls” is carried by a throbbing bass and brooding (yet airy) vocals. In my notes I described this opening track as a ‘death march.’ I stand by that, but this isn’t a depressing slog. Rather, it represents the first weighty steps of the Queen’s journey.
The title track thrashes in with jagged guitars and delivers pounding beats. This is where Lynn really flexes her exquisite use of industrial FX. Contrast this against the organ driven, gothic tone of “Delete Delete Delete.” Interestingly, Lynn’s own description of “Delete Delete Delete” provides a great representation of Spaceships overall. It’s ‘…about ascending into space and wanting to disappear.’
“Lyssa’s Metamorphosis” adds some fascinating context to the EP. In Greek mythology Lyssa was the spirit of mad rage, frenzy, and rabies in animals. Rather than playing on themes of howling chaos, this song portrays someone who’s restrained and exhausted by forces beyond their control.
‘Swallowing down what they feed you/What they feed/Without a doubt/They want you the moment they need you.’ It plays beautifully into the theme of needing release. Not only from your circumstances, but the very limits of who and what you are.
Interestingly, despite the many merits of every individual track on Spaceships, what makes it so impressive is its cumulative effect. It envelopes you in its sound, and draws you deeper and deeper into its dark and enigmatic world.
From my perspective, Queen of the Static Opera occupies a very unique space. Stylistically her work isn’t breaking new ground, but she still delivers a distinctive, uncanny and hypnotic sense of wonder. It feels like there’s so much more to be teased out of Spaceships, and I’m excited about the voyage ahead.
You can find Queen of the Static Opera here: