Seance Crasher | Charlie

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Pop: 80's Pop Urban/R&B: Blue-Eyed Soul Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by Seance Crasher

Blue eyed synth Soul
Genre: Pop: 80's Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Charlie
3:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The newest single from Séance Crasher (the recording alias of Portland musician, Kevin Rafn) is about the stranger on the other end of the crisis line. “Charlie” is the disembodied voice we cling to when we’re lost, like a flashlight sweeping the dark.

It’s also an extremely catchy, danceable homage to 1980s pop, complete with three synthesizers and a heavily reverbed tom solo. These elements might seem incongruous on first blush, but they’re situated in a tradition. Think: Tears for Fears meets Purple Rain.
“I appreciate that kind of contrast,” says Rafn. “Serious subject, upbeat backtrack.”

The song’s producer, Cam Spies, (Reptaliens, The Shivas, Radiation City), acknowledges the full-on throwback of the sound. This is not a daylight track. It’s midnight. “There’s steam coming from a sewer grate. There’s a sax player in a tunnel.” But as closely as “Charlie” hues to that sound, the high-stakes narrative delivered by Rafn’s dreamy vocals (backed by Lia Gist) produces a kind of interior dissonance that restrains the song from all-out kitsch.

“It’s autobiographical,” Rafn says. “It’s about the narrator's perceived intimacy with that stranger on the other end.” One lyric goes, I hear his voice / though I know he didn’t have a choice, and therein lies the rub. For the archetypal “Charlie,” answering the phone might be a calling, but at the end of the day it’s also a job.

The cover art by Kevin’s brother, Daniel Rafn bears an oblique resemblance to the Betamax sleeve for Miami Vice, but was in fact directly lifted from the most recent edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, a corresponding ‘80s nostalgia tying the music to its theme (while inadvertently commenting on the state of psychiatry). Other contributors include Alexander Thomas on percussion, and photos by Todd Walberg.

“Charlie” signals a shift from the psychedelic rock riffs of Séance Crasher’s previous records, toward more focused instrumentation with a solidly 1980s sound. This song will be lodged in your ear long after you’ve stopped listening. -Lisa Wells



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