Steph Fabiani, the charismatic frontman of Somethings Cursed, gives us the lowdown on “Until I’m Dust”
Emerging from the heart of New York’s punk scene, this melodic outfit has made waves with a string of releases, including the standout track “February 15th” from their latest drop “Until I’m Dust”.
Despite their ominous moniker, Something’s Cursed infuse their music with tangible, moody, yet relatable lightness that resonates beyond the punk realm. With roots firmly planted in Queens, there’s an unmistakably New York essence to their sound.
As frontman Steph Fabiani walks us through each track of their EP “Until I’m Dust,” we get an intimate look into the inspirations and emotions that fuel their music.
From introspective reflections to dark, moody atmospheres, Something’s Cursed offer a sonic journey that cuts straight to the core. So, let’s dive in and uncover the stories that lie within the notes.
We’ve always been big fans of the “powerful opener” strategy, and this song is no exception. When writing the song, it went through a few iterations, the earliest one sounding more like a melancholic pop-punk ballad than what it is today but eventually we settled on this sort of biting, aggressive and slightly sarcastic tone that sets the stage for the EP nicely, and balanced it with some of the old sound in breaking down the chorus and keeping the undertone of sadness and general “oh well; too little, too late.” feeling that illustrates the point we wanted to make about reflecting on a past relationship.
I feel like this is perfectly encapsulated in the line “Now I start to remember why we never got that far.” Sometimes reflection leads you to realize just how much you romanticized someone until your train of thought leads you to the final station, realizing they were actually kind of a drag.
This song is definitely a homage to those pop-punk bands of the 90s and 2000s that defined our younger years with their tunes of teenage heartbreak. Our drummer Matt really carried the energy on this one, he was pretty much half alive by the end of tracking drums for the song and we love him for it.
Another Hell To Call My Own
This song has existed in pretty much identical form since around 2019, always being a favourite of ours to play live but never having a release to call home until this one.
I wrote this on the tail-end of a bit of an awkward relationship, and I had a good bit of self-doubt running around my head so it sort of turned into this very introspective and confessional song about feeling like you might only exist to ruin the things around you.
I was immersed in a lot of exploration of the horror film genre at the time, watching movies like the classic Night of the Living Dead and The Omen and taking a lot of pleasure in crafting these metaphorical scenes in my head, which led me to my favorite line in the song: “To finish this off, there’s gotta be blood; It fills up the sink and it stinks up the tub.”
We sprinkled this one with some acoustic guitar in the intro as well as some piano and bells in the heavier bits to kind of create this very moody and dark feel.
Hearts of Lead
It was maybe two months before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I was taking an extended vacation from life by staying with my grandmother in Lima, Peru.
She’s an actress and always keeps herself busy so I found myself surrounded by a lot of art, a lot of inspiration and a lot of time to reflect on the things going on in my life.
I bought myself a cheap guitar at the market for about S/100 (around ~30ish USD), and started squeezing anything I could out of myself to try and break free from a long-standing writer’s block.
This song was the result of that. It came together incredibly quickly and I wrote it about these feelings of almost suicidal depression, isolation and anxiety that had caused me to seek out my vacation in the first place.
I suffer from chronic insomnia and spent a lot of time staring up at dark Peruvian sky during those months, so this song is a little glimpse into the headspace I was in back then. One of my favorite fun facts about the song is the use of saxophones in the chorus and this vintage Ampeg B-12XT from 1965 we found sitting in a friend’s basement in near perfect condition that we layered in for a really great sound.
The song originally ended with a mariachi sample that I still regret not keeping in.
Until I’m Dust
This song came about during one of the darkest periods of my life. I was beyond depressed, isolated in my room for weeks to the point of near insanity surviving on microwave food and self-medicating with drugs.
I was very inspired by the song “Lurker II: Dark Son of Night” by Jawbreaker, and started to write around this very personal and embarrassing sort of state I found myself in.
Sitting in a dark room with the curtains pulled, watching TV till my eyes felt like they would bleed and getting lost in suicidal daydreams.
I’m not a particularly religious person by any means but I thought a lot about religion in those days, and once I started coming out of the haze it sort of led me to this feeling of “maybe I won, or maybe I’m biding my time with God until he reduces me back to dust.”
The song starts off with a very soft, almost deceptively calm and eerie riff, and more and more angst and desperation gets added as the verses continue on before exploding into the chorus.
This was intentional, we wanted to highlight that feeling of keeping something inside so long it builds up in you until you break down completely.
My favorite line in the whole EP is in this song, “The sun might set, the moon won’t come; it’s scared to death of shining on…”
This track was very interesting for us because it marked a huge departure from our usual sound. I wrote the riff one night while we hung around drinking and talking in our practice space in Amityville, NY and went home that night and spilled my brains out onto the page of my songbook.
I kept the thematic ideas from “Until I’m Dust”, exploring this massive struggle I was having with my faith (or better said, my lack thereof) and for some reason I had the story of Robinson Crusoe on my mind. I pictured myself lost at sea, stranded on a deserted island slowly losing blood and dying and calling out for God within my last breath, challenging that if he’s truly there and he cares he’ll keep me intact and keep the vultures from my body as I spoil in the sun.
Of course in the story of Robinson Crusoe, he finds faith in God so this song was meant to be my sort of personal twisted take on the whole thing.
The idea of being stranded was really a metaphor for how I felt at the time, surrounded by friends and family yet almost like an ocean of distance existed between me and them while I struggled silently with some of the worst thoughts I’d ever had.
Our lead guitarist Nick really carried this song on his back in my opinion, he used a modulated slap-back tape delay and chorus throughout the whole song and threw on an octave fuzz for a big sound change during the solo to really help elevate that final chorus.
The cherry on top for us is the constant drone of this very sad sounding organ that we added in last minute that just felt like it perfectly completed the dreamy and fuzzy atmosphere that permeates the whole song.