Celogen Suffers From Self-Inflicted Ropeburns

The Calgary art-popster paints a picture of desperation on his anxious new track.

Celogen is all tied up in knots on his unconventional single (Give Yourself) Ropeburns — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

An unflinching exploration of the dark side of the mind, (Give Yourself) Ropeburns turns a spotlight on unreality with an anxiously jittery shuffle, dramatic falsetto vocals and blithe lyrics of a desperate character’s fatalistic view of life. The first single from his third album Wingwinder, “(Give Yourself) Ropeburns” is one of the “angriest songs on the record,” Celogen says. The track deals “with the things people will do to shield themselves from reality … the character simply hides from everything, and believes their life is over.”

Celogen is the boundary-stretching alter-ego of Calgary musician, songwriter, and producer Dominic Demierre. After playing in a number of post-punk and emo bands during his university years, Demierre found himself feeling stifled and wanting to break away from being drawn into stylistic corners. As Celogen, he has doine just that, releasing three EPs and an equal number of albums since 2018. But this year’s Wingwinder is the creation to which he can lay the most claim; with the exception of saxophonist Robin Pearce, Demierre played all the other instruments, sang all the vocals, and did all the programming for the eight tracks on the album.

It all came together much faster than you might think. “Wingwinder was written entirely in 10 days while I was secluded in the (Alberta) town of Okotoks,” he recalls. The outpouring came after the inventive and unflinchingly honest artist moved to a new home, having been “blindsided by the sudden end of a troubled, yet passionate relationship” immediately following an “extended mental health crisis. I lived in the basement of a suburban home and let the songs pour out of me unfiltered. They deal with subjects that were near and dear to me like young love, regret, nostalgia and, of course, insanity. It’s not a concept album, but there is a deliberate theme running through it of the struggle to hold on to things which time inevitably erodes.”

Citing the influence of contemporary experimentalist St. Vincent and great pop inventors of the past like Kate Bush and Brian Wilson, Celogen’s goal is to keep the musical vanguard moving forward while always reaching to touch audiences via the enduring magic of pop songwriting. “After all, no matter one’s wanderlust, the gift of human connection remains paramount.”

Check out (Give Yourself) Ropeburns above, hear Wingwalker in full below, and follow Celogen on Facebook.