Video: Casper Skulls “Ouija”

‘Ouija’ is the latest video from Toronto-based Casper Skulls, and the final single to be released from the band’s brand new album ‘Knows No Kindness’.  The new album is a departure for the band, who have adapted their style into a distinctive, dreamy folk-rock.  Now providing all the vocals, Melanie St-Pierre delivers in an absorbing performance.  Her intimate reflections seem to float up and away into dreams above her forceful strum and Neil Bednis’s soaring electric guitar.  The rich, layered sound is all held together by the powerful rhythm section: Fraser McClean’s melodious bass and Aurora Bangarth’s insistent, urgent, shuffling drums.  Bangarth’s play is particularly impressive, giving the song a hypnotic feel that works perfectly with St-Pierre’s ethereal voice.  The song was written as a tribute to St-Pierre’s grandmother, Velma Crabs.  Her death had a profound impact on St-Pierre, who was inspired by her story.  Crabs had also been an artist and musician, who had moved from Massey to Toronto to pursue these dreams.  Instead, she joined the Air Force before moving back home to Massey with her partner and raising a family.  Their lives have followed similar paths and St-Pierre explored her grandmother’s history after she died.

St Pierre says of the song and album: “When she passed away I was 15. One of the last things she said to me in the hospital was that she could see deer in a field in front of her. She was hallucinating but was describing real-life scenes from Massey that she had captured in her oil paintings: the deer, forestry or rushing water from The Chutes Provincial Park.  After she passed, I dug into her life story and unearthed the photo that’s now the KNK album cover. Alongside the townspeople of Massey, she held a protest to stop AECL from dumping nuclear waste into the Sables and Spanish rivers. ‘Ouija’ is about wanting to talk to her again now as an adult pursuing the same path she left behind.  I find with art you often pull from things and make it into something else, but these songs are about exactly what happened in my life.  I couldn’t sing a lot of them when I first wrote them because they made me cry. My grandmother wanted to do everything that I’m interested in, so I’m doing it for her, in a sense.  You can only do an album like this once.  It doesn’t have to be about your life, but just something that’s heavily important to you. This is that record for me.”

The absorbing new album is out now and is well-worth your time.  Enjoy.

About Andrew Frolish 1453 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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