Halloween marked the release date of Dallas darkwave band SEVIT’s debut On the Edge of a Darker Place — an album that boldly declares the band’s place in the lineage of Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy and so many other bands who donned black clothing and ominous synthesizers to make the dark a danceable space.
It’s a space that Dallasites have danced in for decades with clubs like The Church, The Starck Club and Panoptikon.
“I think Dallas embraces Goth culture because it had such a big impact on the Goth scene for so many years,” singer Jackie Legos says. “These clubs, they were massive at one time.”
“They had a driving culture,” adds keyboard player Cam B. “You're seeing it deteriorate right in front of your eyes. It's a really sad thing to see all the clubs where people could go dance and experience music go away.”
In the spirit of keeping that history alive, SEVIT is taking the Goth scene, and the unquestionable role Dallas has played in it, international.
Nine days after their album was released, SEVIT announced they had officially been signed to Peruvian label InClub Records, which will release the album on CD and vinyl next spring.
Peru, along with the rest of South America, has been a hotbed of activity in the world of darkwave music, with countless bands glooming on the darker side of new wave music while fans scour social media to find their favorite music — wherever they may find it.
“We've been talking about it since April,” Legos says of how the record deal came to be. “They reached out to us. I think they heard one of our songs on Facebook.”
That song was “As Animals,” which grabs the listener with its opening bass line and takes them through a demented carnival of guitars and synths with Legos’ desperate voice yearning for a place to be understood — whether by a new lover or a new place, perhaps in South America or Europe.
SEVIT credits the song and its video for catching the attention of their new record label. The song also got the attention of DJs around the world.
“We had people in Germany, Spain, France ... DJs wanting to blog about us or play us on their blogs or their podcast,” Legos says. “That just kind of turned into a fairly big whirlwind of good attention right now.”
“We decided to stop fighting about what we do naturally in music, and we came to the conclusion that, you know what, we write a lot of dark wave music naturally ... It just comes through. It's not on act.” – Singer Jackie Legos
Humbled as they are to see the love they have felt locally grow into global recognition in a matter of months, SEVIT believes that their first real success was in finding a way to stay true to themselves as a band.
“We decided to stop fighting about what we do naturally in music, and we came to the conclusion that, you know what, we write a lot of dark wave music naturally,” Legos says. “It just comes through. It's not on act.”
“We grew up with Siouxsie and the Banshees and all that stuff,” Cam B adds. “It kinda got lost when we started dabbling in our electronic stuff. There was something there that was telling us to do something that we're passionate about. So, we just kind of ... said, ‘We're just going to go straight forward to what we want to do.’”
That genuineness makes SEVIT’s music infectious. The music in On the Edge of a Darker Place transcends the time of its production, paying respect to the artists who line the shelves of Cam B’s extensive record collection without having to copy them.
While SEVIT’s music is certainly influenced by those bands, they draw from the same well of inspiration. To put it another way, one gets the sense from talking to these guys that even if Joy Division would have never existed, SEVIT would probably still sound this way.
“I think people want to be able to celebrate that little bit of darkness that they have inside,” Legos says.
“Everybody’s got a little darkness in their soul,” Cam B adds. “It can’t always be happy, pop music. Why not change it up a little bit.”
Watch the video for "As Animals" below: