Drab Majesty Credit: Nedda Afsari

Drab Majesty makes cool synth-pop for androgynous alien vampires and elaborate, moping androids. Deb Demure (aka Andrew Clinco) refers to his music as “tragic wave,” and it’s clear that he’s inspired by the likes of Bauhaus and the Smiths. In the video for “39 by Design” from 2017’s The Demonstration (Dais), Demure styles himself to look like a goth Andy Warhol while moaning out stentorian vocals about depression and space invasion: “Did they beam you up into the lights in the sky? / If you could take a Polaroid of your life / Would you cry?” Demure has been joined on tour by keyboardist Mona D (Alex Nicolaou) since 2016, and shrouded by the smoky lights of the stage, the two put on a live show that contains plenty of makeup, costumes, and somber drama. Though their cold, Kraftwerk-style retro-futurism is, and is supposed to be, amusing, Demure’s theatrical melancholy can also be surprisingly and affectingly sincere. Drab Majesty’s 2017 single “Oak Wood” is a tribute to musician Cash Askew, who died in the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland in 2016. “Why in the world would a God / Take someone as young as a child? / We revile in denial,” Demure muses over stiff, otherworldly synth rhythms that seem to point toward a more artificial place that’s too morbidly fabulous for human grief.   v