Simona Castricum’s new album ‘Panic/Desire’ is a dynamic work of urgent synth-pop

Simona Castricum’s new album ‘Panic/Desire’ is a dynamic work of urgent synth-pop


Simona Castricum joins us for episode seven of the Turning Heads podcast.

Episode seven of Turning Heads features Melbourne icon and dance music extraordinaire Simona Castricum, whose new album Panic/Desire is out now. It’s the third full-length release from the musician, designer and architecture academic based in Melbourne.

Simona has been involved in music for many years, working under various sobriquets. The Simona Castricum project has taken shape over the past six or seven years, bringing Simona to the forefront of Melbourne’s electronic and dance music underground. Simona’s first album, Exotic Ladies Of Birobidzhan, came out in 2014. Her next full-length release, #TriggerWarning40, arrived in early 2016.

Simona issued a drip-feed of singles in the lead up to Panic/Desire, which is her strongest work to date. The album covers synth pop, darkwave and queer electronic disco, as well as more abstract, dreamy soundscaping. As ever, Simona’s lyrics dig well beneath the surface, with the album intended as “an allegory about gender nonconformity lived in the spaces between urban and digital realms”.

For the podcast, we spoke about Simona’s aims for Panic/Desire and how she wanted to be more philosophical and political in her approach – a contrast to the more explicitly angry and vulnerable nature of TriggerWarning. We also looked at some of her biggest influences, including artists like Depeche Mode and Sylvester.

Check out the podcast episode below:

I will be back with a new episode of Turning Heads next week. You can find the podcast on SpotifyPodbean and through Apple.

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