Music, Singles, The Revue — May 17, 2016 at 8:00 am

Spooky Cigarette – “Spiritual Hypochondriac” (single premiere)

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Spooky Cigarette

There’s a self-deprecating style to Spooky Cigarette that extends from the band’s name to its music. Based out of the fine city of San Diego, the band’s name is a tongue-in-cheek derivation of frontman Frank Mindingall‘s – and I quote – “self-proclaimed identity as a black (spook) fag (cigarette)”. It’s not just a sarcastic name but a clever one, as Mindingall is not only celebrating who he is but taking derogatory terms like “spook” and “fag” and owning them. He and his bandmates are essentially changing the discourse on how we perceive those words and using them in creative ways. As he told Gay San Diego recently about the band’s name:

“I wanted to find a way of coming clean without getting someone down. I wanted to play on the derogatory words of being black and gay, and I wanted something that sounded silly on a surface level.”

That same philosophy of finding humor even in the most serious issues and times of our lives applies to Spooky Cigarette’s latest single, “Spiritual Hypochondriac”, which we are immensely pleased to premiere today – which happens to be International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Sonically, the song is an eclectic mix of sound and influences. There is a noticeable new wave / no wave, Devo-esque undertone that originates from Mindingall’s visceral keys. Jakob McWhinney’s guitar shimmers with the crystalline shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine, giving the song an atmospheric feel. The deep bass lines of Danny Gallo and the heart-pulsing drumming of Skylar Eppler, meanwhile, add a haunting almost dark, Gothic layer to the track a la The Cure. All the while, Mindingall’s distant vocals are reminiscent of Kele Okereke, the frontman of the celebrated Bloc Party, and it sends chills down your spine.

The lyrics to the song, however, aren’t creepy nor enchanting. Rather, they’re quite humorous, as the song deals with a man getting older and suffering a mid-life crisis. Then again, maybe the song is creepy after all, especially for those who are just about to experience hair loss, shortness of breath, and anxiety about what to do next. After listening to this, it’s probably not advisable to go rushing to the mirror; instead, just spin it a few times to truly appreciate the artistry of the music and the cleverness of the lyrics, which are provided below after the SoundCloud audio.

The song will also give you a glimpse into Spooky Cigarette’s forthcoming, debut EP, As Loud As I Can, which likewise is, according to the band, “an attempt to fully realize social and sexual identity and reconcile all the time lost.” As an added bonus, we’ve included a couple of other singles from the forthcoming EP – the audio to “Normal” and the video for “Oh Well”.

As Loud As I Can arrives this Friday, May 20th via San Diego collective / boutique label Field Trips. To get more information about the band, the article in Gay San Diego is well worth the read.

Spooky Cigarette will be hosting an album-release party on Thursday, May 19th at Soda Bar in San Diego, where they will be opening for Chris Cohen. Get tickets here.

Follow Spooky Cigarette at: Facebook | Instagram

Lyrics to Spiritual Hypochondriac

My momma said I can be anything.
But now I’m just nothing, and my hair falls out.
And my thoughts they cough,
and my heart, it runs.
What’s this spot on my head?
On my head?

My momma said I can be anything.
But now I’m just nothing, and my hair falls out.
And my thoughts they cough,
and my heart, it runs.
What’s this spot on my head?
On my head?

 

Bonus Tracks:

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