Hot on the heels of “Annihilator,” the first new song from Night Sins in over two years, Kyle Kimball blesses us with another track from his upcoming full-length, Portrait in Silver. While the former pulsed and throbbed with hard-hitting EBM beats (accompanied by a remarkable Trent Reznor impression), the latest single from the Philadelphia-based project feels more like the comedown from the night before.
On “Two Headed Dream,” Kimball leads us through the streets of a city where danger lurks around every corner. An intoxicating synth riff sets the stage for his somber monologue, which blurs the line between hallucination and reminiscence. In the face of “automatic guns” and “the twisting blade,” he calmly reassures “don’t be afraid” with such conviction it’s clear he knows the city like the back of his tattooed hand.
Since the early days of Night Sins, Kimball’s lyrics have been rich with references to the artists whose work inspires his music. From quoting The Sisters of Mercy in “Playing Dead” to winking at de Sade in “Dear Marquis,” Kimball has long worn his influences on his sleeves. In “Two Headed Dream,” however, he nods to his own body of work with the line “a winter wind and a dancing chrome.”
Given the song’s themes of survival and endurance, Kimball’s reference to his own lyrics takes on a new meaning. What may have been intended as a mere nugget for fans of his earlier work becomes a statement of self-reliance amidst the uncertainty of a place where “you cannot leave, you cannot stay.”
The shift in lyrical inspiration isn’t the only change for Night Sins. After making a name for himself as the rightful heir to Andrew Eldritch’s throne, Kimball has mercifully released his grip on the goth rock sound in favor of a more upbeat synthpop style. Whether he’ll continue in this mode is a question of time, but we’ll gladly follow him wherever he’s headed.