In honor of Religious To Damn's return to the stage this Wednesday and Tamaryn's recent vinyl release on Troubleman Unlimited, I will be sharing three installments of a piece that offers a deeper, more voyeuristic look at these sirens and two other talented songstresses: Anastasia Dimou of Cruel Black Dove and Destiny Montague of Shock Cinema. Each selection will be accompanied by a different kaleidoscopic photograph courtesy of Peter Domorak.
Destiny, Tamaryn, Zohra, Anastasia: New York City’s rising coven of seductive sirens, ladies of the new church of post-apocalyptic song. Like Nico, Stevie, Diamanda and Siouxsie before them, these women defy convention in mysterious ways, mixing in the mystik with all that they do. While each fronts a different project, together, with wicked alchemy, they map out a multifarious musical landscape emerging on the streets of the city. Shock Cinema, Tamaryn, Religious to Damn and Cruel Black Dove are the enfants terribles they have conjured from birth.
When confronted with this breed of craft, one is taken in by an indescribable aura: a sense of something beyond what can be seen and heard with the senses. These four women have that effect - their music is bewitching, distilled drama - they represent four distinct ways in which one can be ensnared by song. It all boils down to a perfect mix of sound and vision and Gotham has been the breeding ground for this thaumaturgy.
“Musically, the thread between us is a ‘dark’ sensibility combined with sensuality,” Zohra Atash muses. “We all strike our own variation on that balance.” Tamaryn concurs, adding: “It’s about making a statement about aesthetics as well as representing an all-encompassing female presence...contextualizing the music with the atmosphere.” And To Anastasia Dimou, her mission is also the same. “We’re about creating a mood along with the music,” she says.
But this bond is more magical, more conceptual, than any feminist posturing that might cause some women in the arts to gather together. The XX factor here lies in the sorcerical persona. In a demonstration of her own, Destiny Montague has a different response when describing the kinship amongst them. “Yes, there are obvious similarities in mood, aesthetics and ideas, but I am hesitant to draw upon anything that would pigeonhole us as anything other than free spirits gone kindred,” she explains.