“We live in such a fucked-up world, so it’s important to make some optimistic music once in a while,” Alessio Natalizia said. “I think it’s our job as an artist to give options, to give possibilities, and a different way of doing things. And I think hope is one of those options.”
Fans could’ve been forgiven for thinking otherwise. Natalizia’s music at that point in time was imposing and brutalist, more reflective of a “fucked-up world” than any avenue out. The key song from Good Luck, the album he was then promoting, was a team-up with Québécoise nihilist Marie Davidson, whose own brand of coldwave doubles as anti-club manifesto. “Hope” seemed at best like a far-off prospect, at worst a cruel joke.
A few years and a few records later, the truth of Natalizia’s statement is coming into view. On How to Leave Your Body—roughly his 10th record, including collaborations with Romance and Mark Lanegan under his Dark Mark moniker—Natalizia triumphantly and effusively embraces optimism, thawing out his trademark industrial chill underneath a hard-earned sunrise. Less an EBM album than a showcase of the best textures contemporary experimental pop has to offer, How to Leave Your Body offers a counterweight to modern doomsaying, choosing instead to celebrate the fragility and strangeness of the human experience with uncommon earnestness.
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