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Ghost Love Dance Through Grief on Debut Album, Mourner’s Disco

David Rancourt and his Montreal-based synth wave outfit lead us through the spiritual steps towards overcoming loss.

by Stephan Boissonneault 

Photo by Richmond Lam

Montreal’s Ghost Love are a relatively new synth wave project who pack a whole lot of emotion into their indie pop soundscapes. Their debut album, Mourners Disco, with its upbeat drum machine grooves, jangly guitars, and synth-laden textures, fits nicely next to music from the likes of Sparks, or even Depeche Mode. But what separates this album from its predecessors is its uncanny musical diversity—songs could be blasted in a loud club setting, or alone with the car windows down during a foggy night, and still hit the same.

— Stream Mourner’s Disco Here —

Recorded in the band’s secluded Montreal studio during the pandemic, Mourners Disco has a hopeful sound but is partly inspired by the passing of vocalist David Rancourt’s mother. As a result, there’s an undercurrent of grief and remorse felt throughout the album which evolves into a celebration of life; a means of dancing through the darkness. 

We spoke with Rancourt about the inspiration behind Mourner’s Disco, the consciousness of spiritual energy, and overcoming grief. 

Lots of this album could be enjoyed one of two ways; at the club surrounded by people or alone walking the city or something. Did you strive for that kind of diversity?

Not specifically but we did want to create an album that played with polarities; pop versus atmospheric, immediate versus layered, an album about grief and sorrow but also about dancing your way out of it. So in a way it was a result of our already pre-existing tendencies to want to straddle the line and bask in the tension of many perspectives.

The band’s name is Ghost Love. Do you believe in the supernatural at all?

I don’t believe in the supernatural in a specific way but I have definitely experienced things from people on the other side after asking them for specific clues and then receiving them multiple times. Whether it’s coincidence or not I can’t say, but I definitely think there’s a lot about energy and consciousness that we don’t understand.

I love the artwork for the album, it kind of feels like one obscure page in someone’s family album. What was the inspiration for that?

Michael Hart has an uncanny ability to read our brains and send us ideas that fit exactly with our artistic vision in relation to the songs. It is unreal how much we love his art and how well he represents us through his visuals.

Sorry to hear of your mothers passing. Is the song “Iconic,” about her? 

“Iconic” is about the conversations I had with her after her death in my dreams, but also about the way we remember people after they have passed and the myths we construct for ourselves to help us with grief.

While there is a lot of grief felt in the songwriting on Mourners Disco, there are times when it feels celebratory like a synth pop eulogy? 

Absolutely. It is as much a celebration of life and the ability for us to overcome grief by staring it right in the face and allowing it to take us over and spit us out on the other side of it.