After nearly breaking our hearts earlier in the year with their tribute to the unloved, serendipity’s favourite pair, Chloë Lewer and Elliott McKee, have returned with another remarkable track and once again, they are giving it away for free.
As you may recall, the Charity Children duo of Lewer and McKee upped sticks and moved to Berlin from New Zealand a couple of years ago where they have been making sweet (and raw) music together. As they prepare for the release of their debut album, The Autumn Came in July, they have released their second single from it, the stark and fairly brutal “Empty Vicious Night”. It may be rooted in folk, but Mumford and Sons this is most definitely not.
The song tells the tale of an adulterous pair meeting late at night in a motel to engage in their shenanigans, or more accurately it depicts the descent into maddened anguish of the unknowing but suspecting wife at home. We say suspecting because we don’t actually know that her suspicions are founded.
What we do know is that “Empty Vicious Night” is an incredibly disarming piece of songwriting. Lyrics are short and repetitive, maintaining a steady pace alongside the rhythm, which itself is relentless, metronomic even and it is maintained throughout. Like a stream train chuffing and puffing along, no doubt going in and out of tunnels as the tale is told (come on, you don’t need to be Freud to be thinking along the same lines).
Take it as a straight recounting of an illicit affair and you have a quite brutally stark look into a strictly carnal relationship. There is no love here, the subjects are not star-crossed or feted to find one another despite existing relationships; this is instead a depressing view of two people who just want to get laid and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or meaningful. Take it as intended, that it is the paranoid (delusional?) view of a housewife who suspects something is going on, and we are left with a hypnotic but harrowing descent into despair and insanity.
With just two songs shared so far, Charity Children have shown that they are quite adept at seeing a side of the world not often appreciated by others, and turning it into damn fine music.
”Empty Vicious Nights” is available to download for free by clicking the player below. The debut Charity Children album, ‘The Autumn Came’ is due for release on 11 July and you can pre-order it here.