The song is titled “V.O.” and is a tribute to the late British graphic designer Vaughan Oliver, who died at 62 in December of 2019. Oliver was the designer for the independent record label 4AD, and was a “dear friend” of the band members.
About the tribute, singer/guitarist Miki Berenyi said, “I wrote this originally as an instrumental but the rest of the band convinced me to put a vocal on it. The lyrics are snapshot snippets of Vaughan Oliver’s funeral in January 2020 – lines from the speeches, fleeting impressions of the day. I’m getting to the age where the people I grew up with are dying and I find funerals a comfort in the sadness, formal but emotional, a celebration of a life, a space for the living to reconnect.”
“V.O.” has a groovy, complex sound with a sad undertone with its use of chromatic and dissonant harmonies. There’s a significant number of layers in the music that allow it to reflect emotions that are both nostalgic and distressed. The song is driven by the grinding chords in the electric guitar and the breathy vocals.
The associated music video features an anonymous masked figure who visits a woman on a beach. The woman befriends the figure, attempting to protect him from being chased and hunted by a group of men. The figure is never unmasked, providing an ominous and introspective reflection of identity, loss, grief and hope. Check it out: