Archival Salem press photo
There was a moment in the wake of the Big Witch House Boom of the late aughts and early 2010s that it seemed like the genre might fade away entirely. As labels like Tri Angle, which was an unwitting bastion of the microgenre's most prominent players, turned their attention from ghostly bass to more chaotic sonics, the sound sort of just slipped out of the public eye until it became little more than an edgy meme for Russian teens. At the very least, people largely stopped using the phrase "witch house," because that was always a kinda corny neologism, anyway.
But, finally, there's some good news for witch house diehards, or well, anyone who's already looking back romantically on the early parts of the decade. Salem, one of the loose scene's major players and most reviled live acts, are apparently preparing to release their first new music since 2012, and their first album since their 2010 debut King Night. This news come courtesy of—curiously—a post by the famed photographer Wolfgang Tillmans on Instagram. Tillmans just released an album of electronic recordings, and alongside a photo of a Louisiana sunset, he said that the band's John Holland and Jack Donoghue had finished up a remix of his song "Make It Up As You Go Along."
"They did the remix in Montegut, Louisiana this month, where they lived for the last year," he writes. "As expected the mix is super dense, highly abstracted from the original, and has an irresistible magic and pull."
What's more, Tillmans also writes that Holland and Donoghue are currently living in Los Angeles, where they're finishing a new album that they started while they were living in Louisiana. Strangely, the post makes no mention of the band's one-time vocalist, Heather Marlatt.
According to Tillmans, the remix will be out September 16 on an EP called Device Control, but there's no timeline for more material just yet. See the full post below and revisit our feature on the bizarre internet underbelly of witch house that's formed in their absence.
Check out the full Instagram post here.