Feb 17, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Richmond Lam
Ghost Love are a new Montreal synth pop trio, formed by vocalist David Rancourt, bassist Antoine Rochette, and guitarist Justin Metcalfe. Together, the band conjures a haze of moody electronics, drum machine grooves, and spacious guitars, recalling shades of ‘80s new wave and goth rock. These influences run throughout the band’s forthcoming debut album, Mourners Disco, due out in April of this year. Last month, the band teased the record with its lead single and title track, and today they’re back with an accompanying video, premiering with Under the Radar.
“Mourners Disco” encapsulates the band’s combination of dark aching confessionals and compulsively catchy songwriting. Rancourt’s vocals float above swirling synth textures and shadowy guitar lines, offering an intoxicating vocal performance carried by his decadent croons. However, the track truly hits its stride in the second half, with the rhythm section locks into a strutting disco groove backed by dramatic strings. Meanwhile, the lyrics find Rancourt grappling with this same tension between grief and joyous catharsis, singing, “Can I go with you / Into the dark? / The only way I could lose you / But I never was / One to let go / When we dance we’re together.” The resulting track is a lustrous gem of emotive dark pop, delivered with a lush and dramatic flair.
Rancourt says of the track, “The song deals with the pain of loss and grief after my mother passed away but also the desire to transcend the pain and to keep dancing and celebrating her life through it. She supported me when I came out as queer and showed me to navigate difficult times in my life so really the song is a tribute to her strength and guidance. It also speaks to the desire to sometimes hold on to the pain or grief as it is the only feeling that sometimes reminds us of the person that we have lost.”
Check out the track and video below, directed by Aidan McMahon. You can also read our brief introductory Q&A with the band below as well.
You talk about “Mourners Disco” as dealing with the subject of pain and loss. Can you speak more on how this is reflected in the accompanying visuals?
The director of the video Aidan McMahon really captured the essence and mood of the song without doing a storyline which we thought was a lot more effective. His playing with the dark body suit over one of the actors in the video and having them move in and out of the video hovering over the main character we felt really helped to convey the emotion of the song. As the video progresses the main actor also increases their movements to a point where they are almost dancing which we found captured the idea we were trying to convey of dancing with the grief and through the grief to get to somewhere healing and rejuvenating. So we really tried to capture that bittersweet feeling and grey zone of emotions with the video.
Did the pandemic have a big effect on the production and overall sound of your upcoming album?
The pandemic had a huge effect on us as we were all separated and everything was done via distance and sending ideas back and forth by e-mail. It totally changed our creative process but we feel it yielded some interesting results we never would have created had it been done the usual way. Everyone had the time to really meditate on their ideas and refine a few times before sending to each other which really helped the creative flow I think. It really removed the pressure of “ok we have to write something great on the spot cause now it’s writing time”.
What are you listening to right now?
I am listening to the latest album by Oliver Sim Hideous Bastard which is a really beautiful and textured album, been hooked on it. Also I am loving Cate Le Bon’s last album Pompeii which is just gorgeous and reveals new sounds and details with every listen. Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk is a constant listen, the way they play with negative space is just so impressive, and a level of songwriting I would love to aim for. A few others: Immanuel Wilkins the 7th hand, Jessie Ware What’s Your Pleasure, Robyn Honey, Spirit of the Beehive Entertainment, Death, Clara Luciani Coeur.