San Francisco post-punk outfit Octavian Winters presents their debut album ‘The Line or Curve’, released via Stratis Capta Records with ‘Velveteen’ as the focus track. The band has also released a video for the latest single ‘Surreal’.

Born into the ghostly isolation of San Francisco in 2022 and drawing from darkwave and post-punk traditions, Octavian Winters dives into the ethereal, their layered music counterpointing edged grooves alongside lush synth textures and soaring vocal harmonies. In the lead up to the album, the band released the singles ‘Undertow’ and ‘Ondine’.

Recorded in San Francisco by Mark Pistel (Meat Beat Manifesto, Consolidated) at OW Studio and Room 5 Recording, this EP was produced by Octavian Winters and William Faith (The Bellwether Syndicate, Faith and the Muse, Christian Death, The March Violets), whose credits include Jarboe, Clan of Xymox, Bootblacks and Autumn, Faith also mixed and mastered the album at 13 Studio in Chicago.

Octavian Winters is guitarist Stephan Salit (Thrill of The Pull), drummer Randy Gzebb (Thrill of The Pull, Love Club,), bassist Jay Denton and Ria (Amenti) Aursjoen on vocals and keyboards. Together, they weave their visceral and ethereal sound into a texture all its own – of stories once told but half-remembered, under a dusk of shadows and stars, in an abandoned city under the winter moon.

“This record is very special to me as this was a totally different experience – putting a group of well-respected musicians together and starting the writing process in the middle of a pandemic, when the world was in isolation and in a state of shock. I think the whole feeling with everyone working ideas out together produced a special vibe when we got together and started writing the songs. I would start off with a drum groove and everyone started adding their ideas. After working out the ideas out with little back and forth, we started recording demos, which sounded like finished tracks without the polish you get when tracks a have been through the mixing phase,” says Randy Gzebb.

“This record is a powerful mix of ethereal, shoegaze and darkwave genres, which came naturally when we started writing the record. Each song has a slightly different feel from start to finish. The opening track ‘Ondine’ opens the record to both prepare and excite the listener, summing the emotions and leaving some of what’s coming to the imagination. There are many shades of music here. Everything is so richly textured and weaves through this ethereal powerful element.”

This album is about coming to terms with isolation and loss in various forms, touching on themes that the whole world has dealt with face to face for the past few years – feelings and repercussions that have left a deep imprint on all of us. The music and lyrics are a natural extension of these emotions and thoughts, bubbling under the surface.

“The name of the record – ‘The Line or Curve’ – references the idea of symbols and sigils, which are intricate collections of lines and curves. They are expressions, arrangements or gateways of energy and if correctly drawn they may invoke and transform. But the configuration of lines and curves is vital; if not right, a sigil is useless and has no power. So at each point you are choosing whether to draw a line, or a curve,” says Ria Aursjoen.

“But it is also metaphor for the choice we have of our world view. It references geometries. In one geometric system the shortest path is a line. But in a curved space the shortest path is a curve. We can describe the world through either geometry. So, which way of looking at the world do we choose? This brings us back to the theme of separation and disconnection; the past few years have unearthed such deep divides over different world views that there is often no desire to attempt reconnection. My hope is that we will come to appreciate the common shapes expressed in our different geometries, our different world views.”

Each member of Octavian Winters brings their own rich musical tapestry to the collective and have shared the stage with many iconic acts over the years, including Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Lords of the New Church, Savage Republic, Christian Death, The Frozen Autumn, Everything Goes Cold and Black Tape for a Blue Girl.

‘The Line or Curve’ EP is out digitally on October 13, including via Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. On October 31, they play San Francisco’s Bottom of The Hill (with Dead Souls and The Reptile House) and Sacramento’s Cafe Colonial (with Ashes Fallen) on November 8.

1 Ondine
2 Undertow
3 Surreal
4 Velveteen
5 Nebula

All songs written by Octavian Winters except ‘Nebula’, written by Ria Aursjoen
Ria Aursjoen – Vocals / Keyboards
Stephan Salit – Guitars
Randy Gzebb – Drums
Jay Denton – Bass
Recorded at OW studios San Francisco, CA
Vocals recorded by Mark Pistel, Room 5 Recording, San Francisco, CA
Mixed and mastered by William Faith at 13 Studio, Chicago, IL
Produced by Octavian Winters and William Faith
Artist photos by Dina Marie Robinson
Eric Olson – Design
Steve Devaney – Design at Uroboros Choke
Publicity by Shameless Promotion PR
Jay Adams – Video director, cinematographer, editor, producer
Video concept and storyboard by Ria Aursjoen