By Charlie Maybee
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Kansas City-native darkwave band, Mensa Deathsquad, recently released a new single titled “Light,” which pulses with electronic drive and breathless exasperation in lead singer Brandon Phillips’ vocals. He describes, “‘Light’ is exactly how I sound singing over the ragged edge of a much-needed meltdown.”
Taking a page from the likes of industrial bands like Nine Inch Nails, there’s an inherent darkness to the song’s composition that is alluring while it simultaneously maintains a “party on” mindset. The kind of song that would work equally well in the context of a bedroom dance party as it would under the blacklight of a nightclub. It’s effortlessly danceable and aches with catharsis.
“Now, I cannot emphasize enough how absolutely agonizing this was. Even in an empty studio, my inner-critic was erupting with this withering rage like, ‘You fucking idiot! You have nothing written down!” Phillips noted about the process of writing this song.
“Without thinking about it at all in that one take I delivered the line exactly as you hear it now – the lyric, the melody, the whisper part – all unplanned. When I listened back, I choked up. I started bawling like you would not believe, but this voice in my head was like, ‘Don’t you dare stop now!’ So, I blew my nose and finished the song and swore to myself not to change a single note.”
“Light” is available on all major streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Follow our Alchemical Weekly Spotify Playlist for this and more great music featured on the site.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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