Video Cult bridges our gaps in human connectivity through dark synth-pop

Via artist

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Quarantainment, Vanyaland’s new series on what to watch, what to hear, and how to deal as the world engages in social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. We’re all at home, we’re all online, and we’re all in this together. #StayTheFHome

The ongoing pandemic has brought many changes to our daily routine; in some ways it has kept us more isolated, in others it has connected us on a deeper level. Video Cult has intertwined this idea of connectivity through isolation in the form of a pair of riveting debut singles, “Searching” and “Different From The Days,” both out today (May 1) as a double a-side release via Bandcamp.

Video Cult is the debut solo project from Philadelphia-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Schackerman, who first captured our blackened heart and dragged it through neon glitter with his electronic-pop duo Arch of Love (they of the brilliant “Light In Your Eyes”). Here, Schackerman takes on a darker sonic form, producing, engineering, and mixing both tracks in his home studio (with mastering by Ryan Schwabe), tucked away from the chaos and uncertainty of life outside. He tells Vanyaland it was “a good experiment in production and engineering,” and the results, while crafted in seclusion, have joined together various styles and musical moods. There’s a vivid connection through these 10 minutes of music that cruises with ease through underground sounds.


“Searching” peels back nostalgic layers of classic EBM and darkwave, a cavern-pop twirl amongst the shadows that’s propulsive to its conclusion. “Different From The Days” modernizes the vibe at a different pace, a closer relative to his Arch of Love work but still glistening a darker shade of synth-led post-punk, allowing his magnetic guitar-work to eventually break free and steal the crown. In both tracks, a solitary approach to eventual togetherness shines through.

Schackerman says his Video Cult project was “born out of necessity,” and that’s a true sign of the times. From his home to yours, he’s offered up a bridge, and it’s a connection through technology that feels decidedly human.


Video Cult singles artwork by Nick Kulp.