10-06-2024 Music 42

Autumn - Catacombs

Autumn - Catacombs

Autumn’s first new release in six years, ‘Catacombs’, is produced and directed by longtime collaborator, William Faith. The new single and video comes ahead of the band’s next appearance at Dark Ceremony Festival in Houston, Texas, on 15 June 2024, alongside Clan of Xymox, Chameleons, Twin Tribes, and many more.

With its wintery video created by US goth legend William Faith (The Bellwether Syndicate, Faith and the Muse, et al), ‘Catacombs’ is the lush, shimmering new single from Minneapolis trio, Autumn: an enduring flagship of North American ethereal darkwave since 1992. The first new single and video to be revealed from Autumn’s forthcoming new album, Songs About Dying, ‘Catacombs’ explores the spaces between this world and the next, both visually and lyrically, as vocalist Julie Plante explains: 

“This song really hits on many of the big themes still circulating in our lives right now, but it really came together during the COVID lockdown time. I knew my dad was nearing the end of his life, and I was finding myself really trying to make my peace with this fragile world and my own limited time in it. I was also really dealing with solitude in a way I hadn’t ever before: recognizing that we are each born alone and will ultimately die alone, and yet we are never alone…  Much of the video footage was shot up north in the woods in the coldest part of winter, and that too felt right to me. The starkness of a northern winter landscape has always spoken volumes to me of the thin line between life and death.”

Plante also expands on the song’s title and its connection to these themes:

“Because when I first saw the catacombs under Paris, I was blown away by the simple truths revealed in the walls of bones reaching up like great scaffolding: the miles I walk have been walked by many others who came before, and will be walked by just as many after I am gone. It represents a truth that I find comforting. I don’t personally need for there to be some greater explanation of a “hereafter”, and I don’t need a heaven. My peace comes from accepting that I am part of the natural world.”

The new ‘Catacombs’ video (above) premiered on Post-punk.com on Friday, 7 June 2024, where Alice Teeple wrote:

“The sorrowful lyrics to Catacombs express a deep, eternal love that persists even in the face of death… lovers vow to face the end together, accepting their fate and finding peace in their unity. They reflect on shared memories and the inevitable return to the earth, embracing their connection and the cycle of life and death with acceptance and love... the video is a blend of performance and metaphorical exploration through the ether. It elegantly illustrates the delicate balance of the life cycle, portraying how the artist channels this profound energy into their music. This visual journey invites viewers to reflect on the interconnectedness of life, death, and artistic expression.”

William Faith, meanwhile, told Post-punk.com:

“The video was much more me finding creative ways to manifest Julie’s vision of the narrative; she had a strong concept in place for this, and we trekked all over the place to make sure we hit all the marks she was after, so it was a lot of shooting and then *a lot* of of work in the editing department, trying to keep it flowing but still keeping the thread of the primary narrative holding it together, abstract though it may seem. In the end, I think we did the song proud...”

Autumn began as a collaborative effort between bassist Jeff Leyda and guitarist Neil McKay in the summer of 1992; consolidated by the addition of vocalist Julie Plante in February 1994. With soaring vocals against a lush landscape of intricate guitar sounds and propulsive bass and rhythms, they have cultivated a loyal following over 30 years. Following some early cassette releases, in 1995 Autumn signed to Tess Records, and embarked on what would become a long working relationship with William Faith, who co-produced the debut album The Hating Tree (Tess Records, 1997). Holding stages with the likes of Clan of Xymox, Faith and the Muse, Switchblade Symphony, Lycia, The Wake, and Sunshine Blind, Autumn followed up with the sophomore album, Return to the Breath (Tess Records, 2000).

While members intermittently made space for family and career aspirations, Autumn returned with renewed energy for the release of their third album, Chandelier (Sett Records, 2018), produced again by William Faith. The band has since embarked on several mini-tours of the US supporting Clan of Xymox and The Bellwether Syndicate, and in 2019 were invited to play the prestigious Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany. More recently, Autumn have once again been working with Faith to produce their upcoming fourth album, Songs About Dying, featuring the newest single, ‘Catacombs’.


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