Words: James Frostick
Artist image: Louise Dietz-Henderson
Following on from his solo debut Inland Sea and Collarbones’ 2019 effort Futurity, Marcus Whale returns with full-length album on the way. New single ‘A Ghost’ is a song about resurrections, new beginnings and the unshackling of chains that bind. It’s an ode to fallen angels – regrowing wings and taking flight once more as idols to the cast offs and disowned masses on the fringe of society.
In contemporary Christianity, The Devil isn’t simply a malignant incarnation of sin, rather a fallen angel cast out of Heaven by God after a rebellion. In exile The Devil is painted as an icon of immorality and poster child of wrongdoing – an outsider forced to act as a perpetual adversary to puritan and chaste ideals. It’s not hard to draw allegorical connections between that of The Devil and the plight of today’s queer population – many of whom have been cast out of their homes for sins perceived by their conservative family units or friendship circles. The Devil is the central figure at the heart of electronic artist Marcus Whale’s new album Lucifer, who is positioning the Morning Star as a contemporary queer icon, reborn as the patron saint for those shunned and persecuted for their desires and behaviours. Marcus’ new single ‘A Ghost’ documents one step of Lucifer’s reawakening – a dream of a pre-dawn crisis where Lucifer grapples with the fear of giving over completely to their desires.
The first half of ‘A Ghost’ is a lush and earnest summoning – swirling and glittering synth notes and foreboding bass drones surround Marcus’ sensual and hypnotic vocal delivery. Here he encourages Lucifer to embrace all the aspects of itself that facilitated the exile from Heaven – to indulge in the ecstasy of erotic desire previously denied. As the musical intensity and pressure builds, Marcus presents himself as a vessel for Lucifer to inhabit and control, bonding into one fearless entity now reborn and free to explore all facets of uninhibited existence (“Fill my room / make me your mirror / until a ghost slides in“). ‘A Ghost’ comes hot on the heels of previous single ‘Proud and Dirty‘, the latter of which stands as Lucifer’s dissonant and arresting arrival, while ‘A Ghost’ itself is the gentle coaxing needed to arrive at that point. Both tracks are visceral and raw, an engaging refutation of Christianity’s restrictive creed and a reclamation of desires cast as unseemly by hypocritical religious teachings.
Be sure to also check out the lyric video for ‘A Ghost’, created by Craig Stubbs-Race. Lucifer will be out sometime in mid-2020.