Turning heads episode seven features Melbourne icon and dance music extraordinaire Simona Castricum, whose new album Panic/Desire is out now. It's the third full-length release from the musician, designer and architecture academic based in Melbourne.
Simona has been involved in music for many years, but the current project has taken shape over the past six or seven years and become one of the most distinct and significant voices in Melbourne electronic and dance music. Simona's first album Exotic Ladies Of Birobidzhan came out in 2014. Her next full length release, #TriggerWarning40, arrived in early 2016.
Over the past couple of years, there’s been a drip feed of singles leading up Panic/Desire, which is Simona’s strongest work to date. The album covers synth pop, dark wave and queer electronic disco, as well as some more abstract, dreamy soundscaping. As ever, Simona’s lyrics dig well beneath the surface, with Simona calling the album “an allegory about gender nonconformity lived in the spaces between urban and digital realms.”
We spoke about about Simona’s aims for this record and how she wanted to be more philosophical or political in her approach, moving away from the more explicitly angry and vulnerable nature of Trigger Warning. We also looked at some of her biggest influences, including Depeche Mode and Sylvester.
Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and future, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.