Never want to fear
Dream about daylight
Never gonna feel I am right
As an alliance between two musicians, the song “Séance” was written under difficult circumstances. Blake Voss of Vandal Moon and FM Attack’s Shawn Ward met up in Vancouver on Halloween eve to commiserate about the loss of their fathers, a tragedy that happened to the both of them around the same time. Under that premise, the duo collaborated and “made this song with their [fathers’] spirits and memories in mind,” says Voss.
Recorded in the vein of a live performance, “Séance” is a eulogy to their loved one, a haunting, intangible memory translated into song. Heartbreaking but danceable, “Séance” follows in the essence of early post-punk with woeful, echoing guitars and moody synth pads. Its eerie and atmospheric sounds recall the turn of the 1980s Cure catalog such as Seventeen Seconds, namely the mysterious “A Forest.” (“We sort of channeled that early Cure thing, or at least our own interpretation of it,” notes Voss.) While there is darkness and sorrow, Voss and Ward manage to interpret their losses into a meaningful, poetic release.
Listen to “Séance” below:
The single art for “Séance” is special because the image of the skeleton surfing with a guitar represents Voss’ dad’s love for the sport while, at the same time, it honors Ward’s father, who was a professional musician. As a whole, the single is both heartfelt and spooky (definitely goth-tinged—it was recorded on Halloween, afterall); it’s not too morose but retains the melancholy one would expect for a song with such a heavy subject.
The duo’s collaborative efforts are nothing new as they’ve consistently worked on projects together over the years, notably Ward’s guest vocals on Vandal Moon’s Black Kiss LP as well as FM Attack’s synthwave-y remix of “Robot Lover.” And this new single might be their best yet—here, the veil has been lifted and phantoms have been summoned from beyond.
Purchase “Séance” digitally via Bandcamp here.