A global catastrophe. A deeply personal apostrophe. This, the new single from Galaxy Lodge, is the sound of languor giving way to artistry.
We’re still reeling from the virus, and a lingering aura of dejection—while not actively suspended in the air—can still be quaffed.
Singer-tunesmith Emer Lacandazo and the rest of his Galaxy Lodge mates heartily (or, for all intents and purposes, un-heartily) score (and underscore) this still-very-much-present space with the beautiful “Dirty Couch.”
And while great art is routinely culled from fiction, Lacandazo had to swing by the precipice of life and death to give birth to the new track.
His entire family being infected with Covid, his children quarantined, he and his wife had to be relegated to the living room.
The couch, to be precise.
When the singer’s situation worsened, he had to be ambulanced to a facility on the border of Manila and North Luzon. What was going to be a routine emergency treatment turned into a seventeen-day debacle of staring death in the eye.
Thus began the journey of “Dirty Couch,” where the titular object—his family’s “quarantine couch”—transformed from a portent of illness into an idealistic totem. Faced with bristling mortality, what used to spell uncertainty became a symbol of hope and longing.
“[Emer] witnessed a lot of death and misery, which prompted him to write the lyrics of the song as he pondered […] life, mortality, and whether he would survive the ordeal and [be able to] return to his family,” the band shared in communications with their humble little label.
On the music front, “Dirty Couch” is a shoegaze-sadcore number reminiscent of acts like Red House Painters and Galaxie 500. The cadence is unfaltering, the atmosphere commanding, and the singing evocative despite its rote calm.
The track is also the first to feature new recruits: brothers Mikhail “Mikey” Requilman on guitar and Leone Requilman on drums and production, as well as Cielo Riquelman (Stellar Spectre) as guest singer.
“Such a terrible year / All our worst fears coming true,” sings Lacandazo, and while it’s a celebration of both his recovery and a restatement of love for his wife (“how thankful he is that she was with him through it all”), as well as a hat-tip to subsequent personal tragedies—the death of his mother-in-law, the loss of a beloved dog and two adopted kittens, employment woes—it is also a soothing balm for the weary listener possibly powering through the same misfortunes.
An EP is reportedly in the works, a more socially aware slant is nigh, and promising demos are awaiting development.
For now, though, we have the immense gift that is “Dirty Couch.” Don’t sit on it (sorry, I had to), stream it.