The end of every long-term relationship creates eerily empty houses, both physical and metaphorical. On the one hand, a partner’s presence leaves with them. On the other, so does their stuff. Myopia, the debut album from New Orleans’ The Dead Singer, captures that doubly hollowed out feeling more effectively than anything I’ve heard in a while.
The one-woman showcase of Becca Stone echoes off and thrashes against the confines of a home revealed to be nothing more than a house. Stone moves through the highs of new love, the staleness of a coupling past its sell-by date, the confusion, pain and rage that follows and the eventual acceptance that everyone reaches in a brisk six tracks.
Stone, a music therapist by trade, said the album was a means of coping with a particularly damaging uncoupling.
“The album is a concept album of a breakup that I went through. I experienced a breakup and I was really distraught. It felt a lot worse than previous breakups in the past,” she explained. “I kind of thought, ‘Well, I’m always talking about how music is a source for healing. I want to use my own medicine on myself to get through this period of grief.”
In cuts like the opener “EAEA,” Stone nails the way that a relationship and its catastrophic end can come to feel like the limits of all existence. She repeats the core concepts (and track titles) of the album, layering her voice until it envelops the listener entirely. It’s a wonderfully effective overture, bringing the listener into the seemingly inescapable mire of the recently dumped and conveying nothing so much as the sad shut-in’s four walls.
“When you’re alone in a house, even when it’s a small house, it feels expansive,” she said. “When I’m alone in a house, it feels like it kind of goes on forever, if that makes any sense. And that’s kind of how loss feels.”
The album’s title is the scientific term for near-sightedness, calling to mind the way that loss can rob us of perspective. Stone noted the “singular” and “self-centered” feelings that come to people fresh out of a significant relationship, who are too hurt to see beyond their current predicament. Even after she worked through her feelings, moving from the noisy gnash of “Entropy” to the soaring acceptance of closer “Say Goodbye,” Stone couldn’t see beyond the structure she had built. She dropped the album with no expectations, feeling that it did what she needed it to do, and was shocked when other people connected to it.
“The amount of positive feedback I got was really surprising because at the end of the day, it was an EP for myself and just kind of getting over how I was feeling at the time,” she said. “It was a project of catharsis. To have the positive feedback was inspiring. It really warmed my heart.”
Though loss is one of the most varied feelings, hitting everyone differently, Stone managed to land on something universal while telling a story that’s explicitly about herself. Give it a listen below: