• Drifters/Love Is the Devil

2011’s Badlands put Alex Zhang Hungtai, aka Dirty Beaches, on the map. The sparse, dark record sounded like Suicide’s first album made by the bad guy from a 50s beach-party flick. Hungtai’s greaser image paired with his damaged Elvis Presley whine made for one of the creepiest and coolest records of that year, one that I still spin frequently. Since Badlands dropped, Hungtai’s put out a small handful of releases as Dirty Beaches, including two more ambient and synthy film scores, and this month he’s back with a new proper full length, Drifters/Love Is the Devil, and as expected, it’s really great. This LP, which Hungati has said is a break-up record, is bleaker than anything he’s done before. Gone are the greaser vibes, and stronger than ever is the minimal synth-punk. The record’s centerpiece, “Mirage Hall” is today’s 12 O’Clock Track, a fractured, damaged, almost dancey drone number. It’s really dark and moody, almost uncomfortably so, and all that makes it amazing. Take a listen after the jump.