The Phonogram EP Track #3: A Curse Song

Staff Writer Brendan Shanahan is journaling his life through the medium of Phonomancy. Follow his magic with every track released under The Phonogram EP.

According to Phonogram, the comic that this series is based on, A Curse Song is a song that is ‘cursed’ with the memory of a place, time or person that impacted you in a negative way. It could be a break up, a defining moment in your life, or the memory of a place that no longer exists.

For me, the Curse Song I’ve chosen for this track represents one of the darkest periods of my life.

Like any good angsty teenager who grew up in the mid 2000’s, you were listening to goth/emo rock – your My Chemical Romances, your AFIs, your Mindless Self Indulgences.

But I’m not picking any songs from those bands – I’m picking one that was special to my girlfriend at the time (who is now my wife).


The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus seem to not be mentioned as much these days. Despite releasing music as recently as 2018. ‘Your Guardian Angel’ from their debut album Don’t You Fake It, is my Curse Song.

One of the tricky parts of being a teenager is figuring out if you’re depressed because of your hormones going nuts, or if there is something more serious going on. For my girlfriend, it was the latter.

I tried to help her process her thoughts and move towards happier times. But often I was dragged down into the black fog myself. She shared this track with me as a symbol of how we felt about each other – keeping each other up in the darkness.

The dark and somber acoustic guitars paired with yearning strings seemed to encapsulate our headspace. While the lyrics communicated our hopes for better times. The track builds into that typical emo rock guitar swell, becoming the height of teenage malaise and emotion.

As we matured, we both found the help that we needed and climbed out of our depression to get on with our lives. Today we are married with two fur babies and a happy home.

Even in happy times, this song reminds me of the feelings we had about life and our futures at that point in time. Thankfully we have left that feeling behind us. This track will always be a Curse Song to me.

Next Time, Track 4:  Song that Show Who I Was/A Song that Shows Who I Became (Medley).

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