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MUSIC: THE AUTUMN MIXTAPES 3

“Hold me in a dim-lit world”: How Dayseeker’s DARK SUN (2022) became my refuge from grief

by MERCY FERRARS

Foto: Offi­cial Day­seek­er Press Kit

06/11/2023

“Effortless, the way you left me.”
BURIAL PLOT

Unlike tran­sient human bonds that tend to bleed their way into my life at the least fit­ting junc­tures, new music typ­i­cal­ly finds me in the right place at the right time.

“Hold me in a dim-lit world
So I can learn how bad it hurts”

MIDNIGHT ETERNAL

For months, Day­seek­er had lin­gered on the periph­ery of my musi­cal radar. 

How­ev­er, amidst the emo­tion­al roller­coast­er this year has ush­ered in—oscillating between euphor­ic highs and the abyss of depression—I allowed many of my musi­cal aspi­ra­tions to fade into oblivion. 

“So how do I live in a dreamstate? When nothing is real when I’m awake?”
DREAMSTATE

But by the time Novem­ber unfold­ed, with the bleak winds of my own recent heart­break echo­ing through the dig­i­tal void in the form of emo tweets, one soli­tary track from Dayseeker’s 2022 record, DARK SUN, had become the first song to be played each day on the way to work and every­where else. “Cry­ing While You’re Danc­ing,” on repeat, grad­u­al­ly solid­i­fied Day­seek­er as my top-lis­tened artist of the past few weeks. 

“Meet me where the lines blur together
It’s 4 a.m. and I can’t sleep

You make me feel homesick”
HOMESICK

Once again, I seek refuge in music to nav­i­gate my grief of sev­er­ing yet anoth­er con­nec­tion, of see­ing yet anoth­er sun go dark. A life­time of wait­ing, sit­ting, hop­ing, a life­time of feel­ing unwant­ed, insuf­fi­cient. A life­time of sens­ing the lover with­in me slow­ly fad­ing away amidst the trauma. 

A life­time of bear­ing the weight of it all. As DARK SUN wash­es over me from begin­ning to end, the trau­ma and grief accu­mu­lat­ed over a life­time find res­o­nance with 1.2 mil­lion kin­dred spir­its. In a world pop­u­lat­ed by 8 bil­lion, it often feels as if I am an iso­lat­ed island nobody wants to dwell on for long. “To be able to tell apart the fine line between resilience and liv­ing is to under­stand the vio­lence that seeps from my long-lost suns,” I tweet­ed last night. Iron­i­cal­ly, I’ve made of myself a “sunkiller,” in my writ­ing and my art, pen­ning vers­es about extin­guish­ing my own suns, while Day­seek­er releas­es an album bear­ing the title DARK SUN, and grief is at the heart of it all.

“So take me in the afterglow”
Afterglow (Hazel’s Song)

Return­ing to the piv­otal track that ini­ti­at­ed my curios­i­ty, “Cry­ing While You’re Danc­ing” seam­less­ly blends ‘80s dis­co homage with met­al­core influ­ences. It trans­ports me into a dream world rem­i­nis­cent of Hurts’ “Lights,” a place where I’m swept away into a dream­scape of danc­ing, lov­ing, and weep­ing in equal measure. 

In this sur­re­al world, as in my own, the act of cry­ing while danc­ing has been a fre­quent occur­rence. There have been more instances than I care to tal­ly, but amidst the col­lec­tive eupho­ria, a smile masks the silent tears.

“Cry­ing While You’re Danc­ing” cap­tures the essence of the dance­floor, yet also chan­nels the pro­found sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty of intense emo­tions often surg­ing with­in the nur­ture of a joy­ous space, where heart­break res­onates the loud­est amidst the cheers from others.

“Now you’re coming down and falling fast
Where you end up, you’ll break like you are made of glass”

CRYING WHILE YOU’RE DANCING

In the after­math of those nights, once the intox­i­cat­ing rush of dopamine wanes, I find myself inca­pac­i­tat­ed in my own soli­tude, leav­ing me unable to leave the bed, hold­ing on to my heart as I cry into my pil­lows. Sud­den­ly the prospect of seek­ing that same eupho­ria appears futile, it all feels so emp­ty I could scream.

I’m indeed falling fast and ris­ing even faster. 
Effort­less, the way you left me.


EDITED BY LARA HELENA.


Mer­cy Fer­rars is a MA grad­u­ate in phi­los­o­phy and writes fic­tion, poet­ry and non-fic­tion essays. She is mad­ly in love with Scot­land, dogs and Bojack Horseman.

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