Graphic Nature: Nightmare Fortress - The Wanting

Graphic Nature, Local Music
06/27/2015
Sam Hart

With their new release The Wanting, Seattle’s Nightmare Fortress have created the perfect blend of somber and emotionally intense sonic streams of grandiose grave wave soundscapes. Enthralled by this ambiguous and unnerving artwork, KEXP caught up with guitarist Cassidy Gonzales to discuss the macabre mixed media imagery that covers the bleak but beautiful audio within.Taking us behind the creative process for choosing the cover art, Gonzales explains, “there's no real story behind the image itself in relation to it being used by us, but I will say that while trying to find an artist or a style that the whole band agreed would be good for the cover art, we each kind of browsed blogs and art sites (as well as scouring sites like Tumblr) and came back with a group of images that we all felt strongly about. We then tried to identify what it was we liked or didn't like about those selections, and set off from there to find someone that had a similar aesthetic.” Luckily for the group, their journey ended when they came across the portfolio of multi-talented artist Suzy Poling.

“She lives and works out of L.A. currently and works with every medium from photography to paint, visual installations to her own music projects as Pod Blotz,” notes Gonzales. “The image we chose was actually part of a series she did a couple years ago called Multiverse People that I found while browsing her site that I really loved all of the pieces in. Once we contacted her about using the image for a cover, she went through and made some adjustments to the hands a bit and adjusted it to work as an album cover, but otherwise there was no real input besides asking if we could use it.”

Dripping in dark moods, Poling’s work haunts the eye with her surgical collage of mannequin-esque materials. “The work is mixed media using scanned in paintings, photographs and other source materials. The final prints were ink jet prints,” explains Gonzales. Crafted with poetic beauty, Poling's artwork highlights a superb use of space, form, consistency and clarity.

“There was no direct correlation in terms of lyrical content or anything like that, but I did feel like the artwork and music felt similarly mysterious and dark while still being really beautiful and soft in ways,” Gonzales says. “I don't know if that really makes sense to anyone else when they listen to this album, but when I saw that piece by Suzy, it just felt like a perfect fit. I was just hoping that people would see this striking image on a record shelf that was equal parts dark and maybe a little disturbing yet strong, powerful, and yet still feminine and feel the urge to pull it off the shelf learn more about the music inside.”

From dreamlike stillness to grotesquely groovy flirtations - with The Wanting Nightmare Fortress finds new paths and branches of sonic exploration, forgoing the chance to stimulate intellectual responses. Hand in hand with both music and art - this release will sonically and visually stir up your emotions and dark imaginations.

Make sure you pick up our own copy of The Wanting from Nightmare Fortress' Bandcamp page. You can also stay up to date with the group on their Facebook and Twitter pages. If you need anymore convincing, check out their recent KEXP live session below:

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