Taken from their forthcoming debut album, Continue?, Super Cassette’s new single “Path Through the Past” is a wonderfully joyful blast of twee indie-pop from the Oakland-based, queer-pop sibling duo. At least, on the surface—underneath the chipper tune and its seemingly whimsical instrumentation is an all-too-real depiction of human mortality and the sad fact that everything we ever know will one day vanish into unexistence. “Every path through the past reaches a dead end,” sings Max Gerlock in the song’s first line, before they follow it up with the real kicker: “My ex-girlfriend’s dog is probably dead.”
It’s a jarring, unexpected line, precisely because the tune is so upbeat, but that makes it all the more effective, all the more potent and poignant. Combining the universal with the personal, it manages to capture the full spectrum of human emotion within its spritely three minutes. Combined with the deliberately colorful, quirky, and amusing video, it fully captures both the ecstasy and the misery of our short time on this planet, and is a powerful reminder to not let the latter overpower the former.
“‘Path Through the Past’ is really an exploration of depressive thinking,” explains Gerlock. “There are periods of my life where everything seems futile, and in all things I can only see their inevitable deterioration or end. This futile thinking can apply to the future, in a sense of, ‘Well, nothing is going to turn out right anyway,’ but also the past: ‘What was once full of promise and potential has led to this terrible and mundane present.’ In the context of the record, it’s an important stepping stone through the depressive episode outlined by the album. The album isn’t all doom-and-gloom like this song might suggest, and it sets things up for this satisfying emergence through the depressive fog into joy and gratitude and connection.”
Watch the track’s video below—be prepared to weep and laugh at the same time.