Nashville’s Night Machine has put out two EP’s already this year and has now released an extremely timely LP of synthwave tracks entitled Themes of the Dead. The eleven track album functions as an appropriate soundtrack to the spookiest holiday of the year, Halloween… particularly if you’re the type that likes to dance the evening away into a drenched sweat.
Almost every track contains a subtitle that gives more insight to the primary and provides a layer of ominous context. “Pods (The Invasion)”, “Countess (The Vampire)”, and “Hookhand (The Hitcher)” are prime examples of this kind of storytelling. One might make the assumption that these subtitles are direct references to old horror movies but from reading album synopsis directly from Night Machine himself, this does not seem to be the case.
On the whole, the album manages to find a balance between the foreboding presence of synthwave and far more dancefloor genres. Listening to “Dead Party (Zombie$)” or “Menance (The Stalker),” you aren’t so much creeped out as you are inclined to let yourself dance freely. Even the dead need a release sometimes.