Song Premiere | Disaster Fantasy, “Vows”

Marking their collaboration as Disaster Fantasy, Northwest natives Ryann Donnelly (Schoolyard Heroes) and Byron Kalet (Journal of Popular Noise) notoriously draws inspiration from disparate genres like New Age and contemporary vocal-driven Pop.  The result is glittery crafted songs as a remedy for our collective anxieties and existential panic.  Today Disaster Fantasy has unveiled “Vows,” the first single of a collection of tracks being dropped every month through the end of 2022.  The pattering drum beats and dense synth create an enigmatic vibe that dreamily showcases the vision of Donnelly and Kalet.

“When I was writing ‘Vows,’ I thought a lot about various modes of romantic desire and defeat; and the impossibility of being with someone who prioritizes the art above all else,” said Donnelly

“The song started for me with the bass. For whatever reason at the time, I thought it would be a good idea to try and write a bass part that sounds like the Smiths. I wasn’t being serious about it, but it did take on that kind of upbeat melancholy. When Ryann wanted to work on it, naturally it started to become something very real,” added Kalet.

While sonically the singles can be grouped loosely into either a generally upbeat, disco-flecked new wave style or less aggressive, languid compositions, there is a certain darkness that permeates the duo’s work. “I didn’t really start to work on these songs seriously ‘til spring/summer of 2020 in my Brooklyn studio” explains Kalet. “New York at that point was absolutely nuts, horrifying at times, but at the same time, it was summer and beautiful outside. I biked through prospect park every morning. I think that dichotomy is reflected in the sound.”

That dichotomy carries over to the pictures Donnelly paints with her lyrics. “I think these songs are pleasurable and threatening at the same time” she relates. “They negotiate terms of one’s own failure and try to personify it. But the way they’re sung, I think they sound pretty tender. The seduction or fantasy of disappearing – that’s also in there.”

Written in London, Seattle, and Orcas Island, the initial tracking was done in Kalet’s Brooklyn studio. Vocals were tracked in a temporary studio on Orcas, and final mixing is being completed in Kalet’s new, more permanent Lopez Island studio. Both very much of the moment and eminently engaging, Disaster Fantasy is the perfect soundtrack to decline.

Photo Courtesy: Jordan Robin