Post-Punk Noir



Seattle post-punk trio Nostalgist is inspired by the atmosphere of film noir — a cinematic movement popular in the mid-twentieth century known for dark imagery and sinister storylines.

“I try to channel my own experiences through a sort of cinematic filter,” Nostalgist vocalist and guitarist Asa Eisenhardt tells EW via email. “My goal is to portray a scene, a feeling or both through evocative language without being pretentious.”

“The film noir aspect doesn’t necessarily show up in every song,” Eisenhardt continues, “but films of that style frequently encompass alienation, love and a sense of foreboding — themes that very much vibe with the dark, ethereal style we play.”

Also influencing Nostalgist is the classic shoegazer sound of record labels like 4AD and Creation Records and bands like Cocteau Twins.

“What we want to take most from classic Creation/4AD bands,” Eisenhardt explains, “is the massive wall of sound and tasteful effects usage while creating the best song craft we can muster.”

Eisenhardt also mentions bands like New Order, Killing Joke, Hum and Smashing Pumpkins when describing Nostalgist’s “heavy, dreamy, romantic and brooding” music.

The Pumpkins’ fuzzed-out, heavy yet gauzy guitar work can be heard in Nostalgist track “Pull of the Plow,” while Eisenhardt’s somnambulant baritone fights a losing battle to be heard against a roiling tempo and crashing cymbals.

“Guitar-wise, I alternate between a fuzzier, riff-ier attack,” Eisenhardt says, “and a more gauzy, atmospheric approach.”

“Connor [Keogh, bassist] has an excellent sensibility for both melody and groove, and Mark’s [Knowles] drum abilities lend a ton of power, nuance and texture,” Eisenhardt says. When performing live, he explains, Nostalgist aim for “the right amount of honesty and volume.”

Nostalgist plays with Eugene’s Paleons and Entresol and Portland’s Satsuma, 9 pm Sunday, July 12, at Old Nick’s Pub, 211 Washington St.; $5-$10. 21-plus. — William Kennedy