NAUT: Semele

Bristol gothic rockers, NAUT, follow their debut EP, Raise The Lights from 2018, with an excellent three-song release which definitely has the tenacity to win over enthusiasts of any kind of dark-oriented music.

The quintet's sound is fairly straightforward and memorable, yet, composed of a few different and diverse elements. While their foundation is obviously grounded on post punk and gothic rock, its hardiness indicates a more metallic edge, and the tight structures of their writing bring about notions from classic hard rock. Consequently it all inclines toward deathrock and moodier atmospherics, creating something that feels both odd and familiar.

Semele kicks off firmly with its robust title track featuring Swedish guitarist, formerly of In Solitude and Ghost, Henrik Palm. "These tracks allowed us to collaborate with an artist that we’ve been dreaming of working with for a while now," say the band about their connection with Palm. "He has been behind some of our favourite truly dark music in the last few years, so to have his mark on the release in the form of a guest solo is mindblowing."

As much as the gothic rock, Sisters of Mercy-like direction of Semele makes a strong hit right off the bat, Spirit Horses which comes next is more of an emotive hard rocker with subtle psychedelic undertones on which NAUT appear to be at their most unyielding. Closer, Reprise, burns more slowly and brings the overall gripping EP into an enchantingly gloomy conclusion.

"The tracks themselves are quite contrasting, as night and day, before and after," NAUT describe. "At the time there were a lot of conflicting things happening in life and breaking free from those was always in my mind, and that has clearly come out in the music writing process. The lyrics can be seen as a document of the hopes, fears and dreams of the writer at the time they were written and by making the subconscious tangible one can better understand where their path is taking them and what they want their journey to be."

NAUT played their first show in September 2017, and have shared stages with Grave Pleasures and Cold in Berlin. Guitarist Jack Welch recalls the band's early days and how they came up with their name: "We’d been searching for something that was the right fit and didn’t have too much of a preconceived idea about the music attached to it, something that wasn’t obviously genred. It came about as we all feel that any creative endeavour is an exploration of ideas and the self. ‘Naut’ is a suffix in English used to form nouns meaning a voyager, farer, or tripper, the notion of travel and exploration of the self seemed a natural fit as a result. We also have a preference for one-word band names, so that was that."

Semele EP was recorded with Jamie Elton at Ben Capp Studios in Bristol, with mastering by Orgone Studios (Ulver, Grave Pleasures, Ghost).


Cover art by Seventh Bell

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