With the release of Lune’s debut EP ‘Ghost’ this month (read our review of it here), this brand new Melbourne heavy act have turned a lot of heads in a very short amount of time. In no small part to their polished production, songwriting chops that go beyond the band’s barely nine month official existence, and the very heavy, very real themes in which they carefully dealt with on ‘Ghost.’
Coming right from the horses mouth, as vocalist and lyricist Nathaniel Smith puts it, “Ghost is a concept EP which tells the story of a person who has lost their sense of self to depression. The EP tells the story of the reclamation of their own identity and explores the stages throughout.” Joining him through this full run-down on the EP is guitarist, David Freeland, and while his chugging cohort, Krys Smith, was the primary composer for ‘Ghost,’ David worked closely with both Krys and Nat whilst recording, giving him a solid understanding of how the “Smith-synergy” works, thus offering the instrumental internal analysis for this piece. But that’s enough from me, let’s let them take it away!
Nat: This song sets the scene for the entire EP, self deprecating thoughts permeate the lyrics and detail the beginning of the cycle of doubt and negativity prevalent throughout the story, acting as a kind of lyrical overture. The song is about losing a sense of self, relationships fading away, being paralysed by a fear of failure. Becoming a ghost in a sense. Ghost embodies a person that has lost themselves to their mental health and as a result has lost all sense of self other than the mindset that trapped them there.
David: Probably the least technical song on the EP, the low tuned guitars and rhythmic drums leave ample space for the vocals and lyrics to shine through. A fitting first release for the band as it showcases the spectrum of emotion that embodies the LUNE sound, from the hectic drums and kick patterns to the ambient lead guitars and sparkly synth. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a song that finishes with a) chugs and b) a fade out.
2. Misery Dialogue
Nat: Misery Dialogue is the second piece in the story of the Ghost EP. The lyrics are an internal monologue of someone critically questioning their every action and purpose in an emotionally extreme way, letting their darkest and most self deprecating thoughts consume them. We all have thoughts of self doubt and self criticism from time to time but this song represents those feelings, pushed to the extreme. Misery dialogue discusses the “pain self”, the version of yourself that sees the worst in everything, that allows your most erratic and heightened emotions to rule over your actions more than your conscious mind and how that constant mental headspace and self doubt can eat away at you and cause you to self sabotage and self destruct.
David: The fastest and most frantic of the five tracks. The fury and chaos matches the tone of the lyrics, giving a sense of spiralling into madness. The chorus arpeggios and use of synth here are some of my favourites.
Nat: Manipulator ties into the story by showing how trauma can affect you long term and instill a fear inside you that can cause you to live in fear, fear of further abuse, further pain and further failure. Manipulator is about breaking away from an abusive family member. The song discusses recovering from experiencing domestic violence and escaping a damaging environment in order to heal. This escape comes with the realisation that family are sometimes the ones that hurt you the most and must be left behind in order to protect yourself. Manipulator is dedicated to anyone who has ever experienced or is recovering from any form of domestic violence.
David: Abrasive and aggressive, Heavy subject matter. Not really much that needs to be said here, sometimes it would seem that the lyrics precede the music but I think that just goes to show Nat’s talent as a lyric writer and his ability to match the vibe of an instrumental with his message but also arrange the collection of tracks into a cohesive work.
4. Modern Bones
LYRICS – I’ve joked a lot and called this track “my quarter life crisis song”. Modern Bones is about confronting fear. Confronting the fear of your own death and the fact that you are not immortal. This song is a song I hold very close to my heart. For a long time I let my fear of the future and the fear of my own death paralyse me to the point where I was afraid to assert myself and pursue my passions.
I had let this fear get to me so much that I would constantly be critical of myself and never allow myself time to pause. Because if I did, I was wasting time and I held myself responsible for it in a very self-destructive way. I spent so much time worrying about all the things I had to do that I did none of them to the best of my ability. I was overwhelmed, I was working a job I didn’t like and I didn’t want to keep telling myself “It’s one more year and then we can do what we want” because I was afraid that by the time I did that it would be too late and I would be at the end of my life. What makes me feel even more afraid is seeing that it’s not just me, it’s everyone, living on autopilot and just getting to the end of the week, instead of pursuing the moments that are the most important in life. There is never going to be a “right time” to pursue your passions, you just have to get up and go for it. After being confronted with how sudden and final death is, I never wanted to waste another moment waiting. We are not immortal. Stop living like you’re immortal. Do it.
David: I like this track because the guitar work is more on the technical/metal side of things which always keeps me entertained when playing live. There's heaps of riffs that just keep leading into one another and it’s all tied together with an extremely melodic chorus. I also had a ton of input with synth and orchestrating on this one but once the choir of Nat comes in during the chorus it's fair to cull a lot of the other elements to make way for it cause it’s a massive highlight on the EP vocally. I know that I’m here to comment mainly on the instrumental but damn the lyrics on this song get stuck in my head.
5. Mirror Image
Nat: Mirror Image is the final chapter in the ghost story. Looking back at how a life lived in fear can cause a destruction of its own, self destruction. Now realizing this, I wonder how to pick up the pieces, how do I make it better? “Take it day by day or else it’s too much to face.”
For such a long time, I had directed my anger at myself and at the world for all of the terrible things that had happened to me and as I looked for a way to make it better, I realised I needed to take responsibility for my own headspace and forgive myself for how I had judged myself and for the anger I had directed towards myself. Instead of focusing on the pain and how much it hurt, I started to look for the lessons and how I could apply them to how I live my life, forgiveness over anger, empathy over blame and find a way to move forward instead of living in a bubble of my own hurt and ultimately liberate and reclaim myself. Ultimately, finding and pursuing music again after four years has been the best decision I have ever made and I am constantly grateful for my brother and my band for giving me a place to direct and share my thoughts and experiences in a healthy way so that I can process them.
“Now I see a man, I see a mirror image.
I see a ghost, a lesson learned from the pain that never took my name.
Remember my name”.
David: Ghost and Mirror image are strongly linked musically, acting as the bookends of the EP. Mirror Image, whilst just as heavy and crushing as Ghost, has a more uplifting tone and features the use of more dreamy and happy sounding melodies. The song is my personal favourite of the five tracks, I had the chance to put in some synth and production elements on this one which worked out well because of the rhythmic nature of the guitar parts, it was easy to integrate my soundscapes without them sounding dorky and over the top.