Cold Hart, the influential Filipino-American singer and producer, is gearing up for a major sonic exploration with his upcoming album, Pretty In The Dark, set to release on May 17th via Epitaph Records. As one of the architects behind the GOTHBOICLIQUE movement, Cold Hart has played a pivotal role in redefining punk and emo, bringing a unique blend of familiar and unfamiliar elements, light and dark contrasts, and a fusion of nostalgia with the future.
The lead single and album opener, “2017”, featuring GOTHBOICLIQUE, sets the tone for this musical journey. Spirited pop-punk riffs intertwine with a steady driving beat, creating an atmosphere where reverbed-out vocal harmonies linger hauntingly. Described as a “memoir of one of the craziest years in my life,” Cold Hart pays homage to the old GBC style while infusing a fresh perspective into “2017”.
Since Cold Hart’s reign during the GBC blog era, much has evolved in his life. While his 2021 album Every Day Is A Day was a product of the chaos surrounding the arrival of his newborn daughter and a move from Long Beach to Long Island, Pretty In The Dark captures a different phase. Now a father of two, settled into Long Island life, Cold Hart embraces the nuances of adulthood. The album title’s tongue-in-cheek play on words reflects his newfound appreciation for darkness: “Instead of the dark being scary, it’s nice.”
To shape the album, Cold Hart embraced a collaborative approach, relinquishing some creative control. Teaming up with legendary producer Andrew Dawson and long-time collaborator YAWNS, he sought a balance between past, present, and future. Exploring new sonic territories, Cold Hart aimed for familiarity within the unfamiliar, a theme that resonates throughout Pretty In The Dark.
Drawing inspiration from goth icons like The Cure and contemporary Atlanta producers like Metro Boomin, Cold Hart merges dark trap elements with influences from 80s punk and 90s RnB. His exposure to bands like Brand New and Saves the Day contributes to the album’s unique fusion. As he navigates delicate pianos, expansive guitar-led soundscapes, and layered harmonies, Cold Hart unveils his most vulnerable collection to date.
Joined by a dynamic crew, including Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Horse Head, Lil Peep, and more, Cold Hart continues to push the boundaries of his sound. While he fondly reflects on his past work, seeing it as a time capsule, Pretty In The Dark propels him into the hazy post-punk realm he has meticulously crafted.