Spirit Award Explore Emotional Depths with “Dark Night Of The Soul” (KEXP Premiere)

Local Music, KEXP Premiere
Dusty Henry
photo by Brenna Nickels

Seattle’s Spirit Award has been one of the city’s definitive ambassadors of psych since they emerged in 2014. On each release, they’ve not only honed in on their craft but also found looked further inward and grappling with the harshities of reality, seeking answers on death and anxiety on their last record Neverending. Now they’re finding even more existential ground to cover with wondrous results on their latest single “Dark Night of the Soul” from their forthcoming album Muted Crowd, out later this fall on Union Zero.

The song opens with a stuttering bass line, rumbling relentlessly over the steady pulse of a bass drum and the occasional flurious drum fills. The hypnotic pulse gives way to Daniel Lyon’s bewitching vocals, soulseeking in a reverb haze. The further Lyon’s meditative words seek into his own soul, the more the instrumentation boils up. Icy guitar lines chime out as Lyon’s voice echoes, as if venturing even further into the metaphorical depths. It’s a haunting track that is made even more intriguing given the context of it’s inception. Lyon explains the songs origins below:

”The idea for this came when I was going through a transformation/change in my own life. The “dark night of the soul” is a term that goes back a long time. It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness. Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything. Numbness.

”Sometimes it’s triggered by some external event, some disaster perhaps, on an external level. Maybe you had built up your life, and given it meaning – and the meaning that you had given your life, your activities, your achievements, where you are going, what is considered important, and the meaning that you had given your life for some reason collapses. Often it is part of the awakening process, the death of the old self and the birth of the true self.

”I started to see that a lot of people have built their lives in a way to never be satisfied. That we think we always need more things, new things, progress, innovation. It’s not all bad, but some of this “progress” has lead to things that do more damage than good (automatic weapons, bombs, global warming…).

So that to say, death to any progress that is only meant to please for the short term, and onward to the hope that we begin to focus on loving and serving the people around us.”

Listen to “Dark Night of the Soul” below.

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