The concept of addiction is multi-faceted and layered – it doesn’t always relate directly to substance abuse, but the general consensus is that addiction itself is always harmful in some way. It can leave us dependent, hollow and inhuman – at least until we pull ourselves out of the hole we found ourselves in or find a substitute to help us dig further down. The cravings and loss of self control inherent in addiction can also extend to the disintegration of relationships, the loss of physical contact and the removal of emotional intimacy. It’s not uncommon for separations to be sometimes be necessary for both parties if the relationship becomes a toxic exercise, but that doesn’t mean that the desire for the other (or intimate contact in some form) immediately disappears from your system. The presence of ex partners and lovers can remain, lingering in your blood and often evoking feelings akin to drug withdrawals. Perhaps power dynamics were abused (maybe on purpose), their intentions untoward and malignant. I think the idea of someone leaving a piece of themselves inside you (whether you want them to or not) is one of the thematic motifs of the new Pleasure Symbols track, ‘Under Your Skin’.

It’s been a while between any dose of new music from the Brisbane duo, but they’ve emerged to give us a fix with this new track ahead of a larger injection next month. This tune is a strong reminder of Pleasure Symbol’s innate knack for crafting engaging (albeit foreboding) music, with pulsing beats, all-encompassing low end synthesiser notes and piercing flashes of night-blue luminescence. The sound of Pleasure Symbols is described as ‘coldwave’ and ‘Underneath Your Skin’ certainly evokes a shiver or two. Linking back to the topic of addiction, the sound of this track perfectly captures the feeling of freezing withdrawals – mournful meanderings, trying to stop the shakes, the cold sweats and the unease. The vocal incantations are largely indecipherable, but manage to convey the lingering effect of lovers gone, memories gnawing at our mind and leaving our emotions in ruins. Thinking about it from a few steps back, the entire sound of Pleasure Symbols on this track is very reminiscent of a disintegrated relationship that was once intense and life-giving – they are cold and remote to us now, but we still find them captivating and addictive. Pleasure Symbols have got us hooked and they know it.

Thankfully we wont have long to wait for more from Pleasure Symbols, as the duo announced a release of some sort through Death Valley Records and Tapes due next month.