Behind The Tracks: The Effigy - Dying Star (Single) (2023)

Our very first breath is the birth of a star. Sometimes, throughout our existence, we happen to live - but mostly, life happens to us and we are passive forces, simply existing; unable to control the chaos that surrounds us. As life occurs, we amass a collection of memories; good and bad; laughter and tears; trophies and scars. And with each new addition to our collection, with each new experience, our star burns a little bit brighter.

Sometimes, something wholly abhorrent happens. It’s not our fault. We didn’t choose it. But it is our pain to bear. That star burns hotter and hotter, the light burning brighter and brighter, until finally, every last drop of fuel is gone, and there is nothing left to sustain it. The light bursts forth in a violent end, and sometimes that violence is so great and so terrible that it collapses in upon itself, forming a black hole.

Black holes are negative space, defined only by the effect they have on that which surrounds them; the light they inhale, only for it to disappear as soon as it so much as touches the darkness.

I think maybe a lot of people feel like a black hole. Unobservable, except for the things we surround ourselves with; a coat of gleaming armour, the acts of service we give unto others, the art we create, the words we scream. But at our very core; invisible.

I imagine we arrive here, each from a different road. For me, it was domestic abuse. My abuser died before they could ever face justice and I was left to pick up the jagged pieces of our lives, with no map of how they should fit together. I was the one who had to fix it. I, who was weak. I, was weak because my abuser had ensured I was weak. I could not face myself, and when the pain grew too great to bear, I collapsed upon myself and became that black hole.

It has been a long time - nearly half my life - that I’ve stayed inside this void. It is familiar and comforting, but lonely. Very lonely.

When I sat down to write Dying Star, I arrived at the second verse and I wrote “I don’t know what caused this pain”, and that line caused me to stop because it was a lie. I had written a lie. I do know what caused this pain. I exist in this pain, daily. How can art bring healing if it cannot be honest? I wanted to lie. A lie would be easier than facing the truth, but as soon as I acknowledged that it was a lie, I could not put that knowledge back in the box. I changed the line and inadvertently changed my own life. “I know what caused this pain”, and the truth started to flow. “Caged inside the words of a madman”, “I’ve kept it all within”, and “I’ll never be good enough for a dead man”.

This was the unavoidable truth; this was the centre of that black hole - and my entire life, every word I’ve spoken, every tear I’ve cried, every note I’ve sung, that is the evidence of this black hole; the brazen light that encircles the darkness, fearlessly dancing upon the very edge of the precipice. It could fall at any moment, and vanish into the darkness forever.

The song ends on a sombre note, “you will never see my light again”. Perhaps this is the death of my light, but I would prefer to think of it another way. I would prefer to think that my abuser will never have the privilege of seeing the person I will become, he might never see my light again, but that does not mean that I will not see my light again.

It has been said healing is not a destination, but a journey. If this is true, then through this song, I have taken my first steps. And so, I hope that when you feel unobservable - unnoticed, but by the things around you, that outline you but never truly define you; only what you are not - I hope that you can listen to Dying Star, and I hope we can take those first few steps towards healing together, side by side, basking in each other’s light.

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