Review

Medicine Boy release their last album, Take Me With You When You Disappear, and it’s a fitting swansong

When it comes to creating truly atmospheric music with a flair of gothic dramatism, you would be hard pressed to find anyone that does it better than dream-noise duo Medicine Boy. Their sound is a viscerally intimate experience that feels like someone is whispering softly on the back of your neck. You can’t really listen to their music, rather you experience it.

There was only one thing that could lessen the blow when the duo announced that they were going their separate ways late last year, and that was the promise of a third and final album which, months later, is finally here. Take Me With You When You Disappear is everything a Medicine Boy album should be: poignant and heavily laced with intimacy.

It’s the culmination of the duo’s artistic oeuvre, a seductive descent into darkness that is rich with emotion and which is brought to life through evocative lyricism, exceptional attention to detail and masterful production. These elements are tied together by Andre Leo and Lucy Kruger’s extraordinary ability to both carry songs individually and then join forces to flawlessly harmonise in a way that gives their sound its distinctively atmospheric and intimate feel.

The 9-track album vacillates between cool restraint and the complete lack thereof, favouring auditory discord and raw intensity over order. Reverb-soaked guitar, howling riffs and frenzied chords, escalating drum lines, ominous bass and solemn piano, not to mention the addition of cello and violin are adroitly combined to create an album that is captivating from start to finish – from the urgent cries of Andre’s gritty opening track “Wrecker”, to the shimmering psych rock sound of “Berlin Girl” and the wistfully slow and sombre “Rag Doll”. 

The album ends on a lighter note with the ethereal “Venom Song”, which sees both of their voices interwoven in a final goodbye, ending off not with a bang but a whisper.