After returning from their tour of the West Coast and Midwest and racking up four Dallas Observer Music Award nominations, those post-punk darlings, Rosegarden Funeral Party, are back with a new song, demonstrating their commitment to developing their craft and expanding their sound.
This time they're adding just a dash of synth pop to the mix. Perhaps the best way to describe “Another Dead Soul” — from the band’s upcoming Martyr release — would be to call it a “darkwave” track. There are certainly elements of new wave romanticism, but the drive and the power of Rosegarden Funeral Party’s post-punk sound are still what move the song forward.
What really marks this song as a departure for Rosegarden Funeral Party are the layers on which “Another Dead Soul” is built. From the lyrics to the vocals to the instrumentation, this song is all about building up and breaking through.
Beginning with a dreamy percussion, the song builds slowly, with DOMA-nominated singer Leah Lane’s voice syncing with the shy-yet-deliberate plucking of Will Farrier’s bass, wishing “Don’t want to hurt anymore” but conceding “I’m afraid that I need to.”
Haunted by the words of a love long past, the band guides Lane’s voice into a bold crescendo leading into the chorus as she admits with intensity and ferocity, “Think about the moment you told me you didn’t love me every single day.”
As the chorus fades, Rosegarden Funeral Party fans will notice something they've never heard before — an airy choir that seems to follow Lane’s voice through the remainder of the song. These background vocals serve as a structural layer to empower Lane’s voice and as a metaphorical layer, reassuring the singer that being left by a lover will in fact not leave her as “Another Dead Soul.”
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Along with the new song, Rosegarden Funeral Party has released a video for it directed by Erin Shea Devany of All Hollows Productions, who has directed all of Rosegarden Funeral Party’s videos to date.
“Erin is a visionary,” Lane says. “She is always so direct with what she wants us to do, and she has an exceptional talent for taking sonic textures and marrying them to truly fitting visuals. She understands our brand and what we are trying to convey every time without fail. The filming process is always fun.”
Matching the song’s desire for closeness in the face of rejection, the video carries with it a sense of claustrophobia and caginess.
Unlike their past videos for “Blitzkrieg in Holland,” “Eden” or “Seeing You Here and Now,” “Another Dead Soul” has a tight focus on the band. Drawing her inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, Devany created a Dalí-esque backdrop of eyes staring into the band’s performance — eyes that find themselves swirling around Lane in some of her solo shots.
The video struggles in its attempt to relieve the cramped tension it builds, ending just as it starts with Lane looking worried and alone standing in front of a wall of eyes. However, by the end of the video, the light illuminating the scene — a light once provided from a skull-shaped candle — has been replaced with a light that emanates from Lane’s own body.
If we see the song as searching for a savior in its building of musical and vocal layers, the video suggests that redemption is found in letting your inner light shine out — something that mirrors Rosegarden Funeral Party’s own rise in Dallas’ music scene to become one of the city’s most celebrated new acts.
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Devany says she enjoys working with the band because of “their never-ending desire to grow and develop and try new things,” and that drive ensures the band’s staying power.
This is truly a band that never stops. If you haven’t yet had the chance to see this group in action, there are five opportunities in the next two weeks and even more throughout the month of November. Check out the band’s Facebook page for more information.
The band’s next show is Oct. 27 at the Texas Theatre after a showing of the 1986 cult classic, Trick or Treat, along with fellow darkwavers Aztec Death and Mass Exhibit.
See Rosegarden Funeral Party perform at the DOMAs. Tickets are $15.