This year marks almost 20 years since SHAWN FOREE has been making music under the alias DIGITAL LEATHER. Yet even with releasing numerous albums and working with some well-known artists during this time, Digital Leather has clung to obscurity. The project, which began in Arizona with Foree and his childhood friend, Ryan Rousseau (Destruction Unit), was initially just an experiment, a toying around with some dusty synthesizers, the Cold Wave aesthetic, and a subversive disregard for audio clarity. Rousseau left early on to pursue other music, but Foree never stopped, and his writing game kept growing stronger. With New Wave Gold, Foree has shown creative maturity, and has proven himself to be a master songsmith as well as a competent producer with a penchant for sound texturing and a “mid-fi” aesthetic. Recorded in Foree’s apartment in Nebraska over the last couple of years, during which time Shawn also traveled the country doing environmental work, New Wave Gold is its own genre; something uniquely wonderful. Lyrically, each song is crafted of deceivingly simple lines, but the words soon reveal their true identities: culprits to a dazzlingly moody manifesto. It’s a mid-life crisis and a global crisis smashed together and thrown onto tape. Scattered with analog synths, acoustic guitars, and a fully operational DIY approach, New Wave Gold is also reminiscent of work from groups like Sebadoh and Psychic TV. References aside, New Wave Gold is a trenchant exploration of a self, coexisting with an often bleak and doubt-inspiring outer setting. It is the battle of the subject versus the all-consuming, fiery leviathan, the object, the world.