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Synthpop Single Review: "Sick House" by Eulalie and Star Madman

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

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Eulalie and Star Madman’s Sick House captures the profound alienation and pain of isolation. Propulsive, solid bass pounds below Eulalie’s distant, floating voice that echoes out into empty space as she chants the lyrics. Flashing synth echoes along with the vocals in tensely shining notes with a lost quality.

The chanted vocals are hypnotic while xylophone flickers in rising patterns. The music grows in depth and richness as Eulalie’s voice flows into wide open space, layering into a choir. There’s dynamic forward motion as the wide, reverberating bass throb goes on. A steady, rising flow of medium-low synth shifts in the background and the heavy bass keeps throbbing.

Star Madman’s expressive voice carries the lyrics as a mournful, medium-high synth flickers. Star Madman chants, her voice echoing out into space as Eulalie’s vocal returns, a quick trickle of rising synth accompanying it. The bass throbs far below, establishing the steady beat as a richly interwoven vocals move above it.

The first narrator talks about how she’s been hiding in her house for too long as the air has stagnated. Now she’s hiding in the house and in “the thoughts I suppressed.” She adds that “I’m sick, it is sick.”

As the narrator goes on, she talks about how she has pretended to be fulfilled without any human contact. She adds, “I’ve spent a life of getting up at night.” Our narrator says that she says “last goodbyes” when the night begins.

The first storyteller talks of praying to the stars to “return in you once more.” There will be a “new day’s birth” in a world that will vanish in the next day. She adds that she “prayed to the moon to dance beside you once more.”

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The second narrator’s sense of pain is palpable as she talks about how she can’t escape or manage to sleep, instead she’s “all alone, consumed by my mind.” There’s a sense of time ticking down while “the doors are locked, I don’t have a key.”

Our narrator sees her way out blocked and full of shadows. She is “trapped in this house” and wants freedom, but doubts that she can ever escape. The narrator talks about how she isolates to “fight the disease” but she still feels as if she is “incarcerated, down on my knees.”

The narrator talks of being “contaminated, never at ease.” She concludes by saying, “Alienated, so help me please. Hiding out In my house.”

© 2022 Karl Magi

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