New Music

EPHEMERA Part II: mega screamo compilation continues with the all-female vocal epic “A Rough Calculus”

19 mins read

As we continue our journey through the amazing Ephemera compilation, which we have been showcasing over the past few weeks, we have now reached the fifth track—a particularly intriguing piece featuring exclusively female voices. If you’ve been following the previous installments, you know this is no ordinary collaboration. It is a remarkable union of 56 different artists, each contributing to a few epic tracks that blend post-rock, screamo, and post-hardcore in a highly emotional manner, utilizing unconventional instruments, talent pairings, and other elements that make this an extraordinary release.

The project, helmed by Gabriel Bergman Lahovary, continues to break boundaries in the post-hardcore and screamo scenes, involving 56 diverse artists from across the globe, bringing togetgher an intricate connection and an intense blend of emotions, styles, and narratives. Ephemera originated from Gabriel’s vision to create a collaborative masterpiece that marries post-rock, screamo, and post-hardcore elements. The project has seen contributions from members of notable bands such as Heart On My Sleeve, Chalk Hands, Joliette, Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket, and many more. Each track is distinct, with its unique lineup and thematic exploration.

“A Rough Calculus” stands out not only for its thematic depth but also for its all-female vocal ensemble. Gabriel’s decision to feature female vocalists exclusively was inspired by a desire to highlight the unique voices in the scene and to create a piece that resonates deeply with the experiences and struggles faced by women.

This song brings together an impressive lineup: Gabriel Bergman Lahovary from Heart On My Sleeve on guitar, Marc Aufderstrasse from Tidal Sleep on guitar, Maxime Foulon from Lorem Ipsum on acoustic guitar, Taliesin Leboutillier from No Omega and We Came Out Like Tigers on drums, Chin Pong Tang from incaseyouleave on bass, Ina from Heart On My Sleeve on vocals, Renn Fontana from Rat Chasm and Abject Horror on vocals, Gio Pascolo from Reikä on vocals, and Sabrine Immergrün from Arsen aka K​ö​nig der Monster and Aureole of Ash on vocals.

Erina Persson, Gio Pascolo, Renn Fontana
Erina Persson, Gio Pascolo, Renn Fontana

The lyrics of “A Rough Calculus” are a poignant reflection on the pervasive fear and violence that many women face.

With statistics revealing that 1 in 4 women have experienced rape or attempted rape, and 2 in 4 have been victims of sexual violence before turning 18, the song captures the raw emotions and relentless fear that women navigate daily.

The vocals, layered with emotion and power, convey a message of resilience and defiance. The song’s atmosphere is intense and emotionally charged, blending screamo’s raw energy with post-hardcore’s more accesible melodies. The narrative is one of empowerment, anger, and resistance against the societal structures that perpetuate fear and violence against women. The repeated refrain, “I refuse my fear,” serves as a powerful declaration of strength and autonomy.

In our multi-artist interview, the contributors shared their experiences and thoughts on participating in this unique project. Gabriel discussed the organic process of selecting participants, emphasizing his emotional connection to the choices. Renn reflected on the initial hesitation and eventual embrace of the project, highlighting the empowering nature of the collaboration. Chin Pong Tang shared insights into the creative process and the collective effort to refine the song’s composition. Sabrine and Erina discussed the thematic resonance of the lyrics and the importance of representing female voices in such a powerful narrative.

For a deeper dive into the creative minds behind this track, be sure to read the full multi-artist interview below!

Ephemera II cover

A Rough Culculus – The Interview:

How did you all get involved with the EPHEMERA project and specifically with track 5? Was there a scouting process or did it happen organically?

Gabriel: Like all songs from the first release until now I have chosen all members from my feelings. People I have met, done releases with, or l searched up spontaneously.
Because this release just got bigger and bigger I needed to find and listen to new bands and choose from that. Tidal Sleep is a favorite band so I was so glad that Marcus could join on this song. Tailes have I played with on some shows when I played together with Heart on my sleeve. He has also played in the great Swedish band No Omega. Erina was the singer in HOMS (Heart on my sleeve). The others are new people for me who made it perfect.

Renn: I got a message from Gabriel on a screamo band instagram called dana sterling I used to front from Minneapolis that is unfortunately no longer active. The ask wasn’t specifically for me, I honestly think our other front woman Camden is who Gabriel actually wanted to do vocals but we both looked over the message and dismissed it at first because of how much other stuff was going on. After the band seemed to be fizzling out and I realized I was the only one still checking the instagram, I gave the message another look, I think because Gabriel had followed up, and I figured fuck it, why not? I was feeling sad and uncertain about the way things had ended with dana sterling and this felt almost symbolic of accepting that I needed to move on from the project.

Ephemera II

Chin Pong Tang: One day Cat, my guitarist of incaseyouleave, asked me if I am free to get involved in a project that needs a bassist. I was like sure I don’t wanna miss anything interesting and I have never done this genre before, so I asked and recorded the bassline for Ephemera.

Sabine: I was recommended by a friend who worked with Gabriel in the past.

Marc: I was asked by Gabriel. The request sounded so enthusiastic and the song spoke to me directly, so I couldn’t say no.

Taliesin: Gabriel asked me, and I said sure. Was nice to be invited and was cool to add drums to the initial guitar track.

Erina: Gabriel wrote to me and asked if I wanted to be a part of this specific track. Originally, I was supposed to just do one part of the song. However, Gabriel had issues finding other female vocalists that were able to participate. Consequently, he asked me if I was willing to be a bigger part of the song.

heart on my sleeve

Who took the lead in composing this track? Can you walk us through how such a collaboration comes to life?

Gabriel: All songs are in the same composition. I had one guitar and sent this to Tailes the drummer if I remember it right. I like to bring the drummers in soon, so he has a lot of space to choose dynamics, rhythms, and so on that maybe the other guitarist or bass player would choose. I did the same with the drummer from the first release on the song Stormen/Well find comfort in the waves. And it went so cool. Then I send my guitars and drummer to Marc, the other guitarist. Then the bass player and so on.

Chin Pong Tang: I think Gabriel is the guy who makes sure things go well and is the core of this project. The first version I provided was like jamming in no sense and wildly, therefore we started to discuss and see what’s suitable for the song, so it’s actually we made this in not too individually way, I love that so we could have communication and creation in the song together, and you could always learn from each others with music.

Sabine: The instruments for song 5 were already recorded at the time i came to the project. The vocals were than recorded by each singer herself .Everybody choose a favorite part. Later it was put together.

Marc: I was given the drum tracks and a guitar track from Gabriel without further instructions. When I listened through, I immediately had some ideas that I wanted to implement. For me personally, it was a little difficult that there was no bass. This is always important to me for the melody line in the song. But that’s exactly what I found so exciting, because I didn’t know what the end result would be. I am very happy with the way it turned out!

Taliesin: I guess Gabriel. Want to say I especially dig Marc’s guitar parts that he added after I recorded the drums.

Marc Aufderstrasse
Marc Aufderstrasse

Were there any significant challenges in coordinating the creation of this song, given the diverse group involved?

Gabriel: All songs are difficult and easy in their way. All the people who contributed has for me been and understood my work behind. So on all songs, I gave every instrumental member 2 weeks, some needed some more. The singers had of course more time to find lyrics theme and write lyrics and choose where to sing/scream together/alone.

Renn: I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to have time to do it and didn’t feel connected to it at first because I didn’t actually know anyone involved. It’s hard to do something so intimate, like writing music, with people on a totally different continent that I’ve never met and likely never will but it was a good use of time and helped motivate me to engage in other music and creative endeavors I had been putting off. Plus I figure only people who really love music and the community it creates would reach out to my super small band about a project like this and I’m all about community and friendship. DIY has really changed my life and introduced me to the most loving and supportive people on the planet.

Anyway, because of the time crunch and being alone in it, I didn’t have access to proper mics for recording so I wasn’t able to scream as much as I had intended because of how blown out my voice sounded due to poor mic quality. There’s a lot of things I wish I could have done better, but I’m glad I got to contribute and I hope other people like it.

Chin Pong Tang: I guess it would be the process of looking up a vocalist, and it turned out that the result is really great with Erina, really like her way to scream and get the song completed.

Narziss Tang
Chin Pong Tang

Can you share the story behind the lyrics? How did you go about weaving this narrative together? Did you coordinate the lyrical themes with each other?

Renn: I was given the topic and a major chunk of lyrics were already written. I didn’t connect with the lyrics in the song so it felt hard for me to speak to my own experience without undermining the experience of the other lyricist. I live in Chicago which is the third largest city in the United States. I am a social worker and have worked in social services and mental health since 2012. I’ve seen and experienced a lot of strife.

To me, as a queer woman, being afraid feels like a luxury that myself and many women cannot afford. If people sense you are afraid, you lose any hope of surviving. It’s important to me to stand up for ourselves and each other, especially for our trans, Black, Indigenous and disabled sisters, whenever and wherever we can.

I wanted to lead with empowerment and tried to create a feel of balance instead of disruption in recognizing the diversity of how people respond to fear. But at the heart of it, I do not equate being a woman to being afraid though I recognize how deeply fear may impact the experience of womanhood.

Sabine: that was not a big deal. There was this idea in the group… and everybody was ok with it…and wrote her own feelings down.

Sabine Immergrün
Sabine Immergrün

Erina: As previously mentioned, we had a common theme and then we all interpreted that individually into our lyrics. I decided to write my part about my own experiences of what it means to be raised as a woman. I was raised to not talk in certain ways, not to do certain things, walk in certain places at night and to not dress in revealing clothes, all because of fear of attracting “the wrong type of attention” from men. I am an adult woman now and I see the hypocrisy in that women are still limiting their lives in fear of being attacked or sexually assaulted. On the contrary, few men are raised or taught to not sexually harass and assault women.

Interview continues below…

A Rough Calculus lyrics:

2 in 4 women are reported to be victims
of sexual violence before they turn 18 years old.
The numbers bubble and bleed
Succumbing to a rough calculus

1 in 4 women have experienced completed or attempted rape.
There is no room to falter
In 98% of the cases, the assaulter is a man.
To be swallowed
Being a woman means being afraid.
Into dark hallows
I refuse to fall like lead
I’m scared walking alone
Out of desperate hands into your calculations
I fear dressing the wrong way.
I refuse, I refuse my fear
I am frightened of not being believed
Being a woman means that fear controls your life.
Can I trust this man?
What happens if I let him in?
If I say “NO”, will he listen?

Being a woman means I am not allowed to talk about my fear.
No man wants to be considered a potential threat.
No man wants to be presumed an assaulter.

Being a woman means to not feel anger.
A furious woman is not desirable
Angry women will not be heard.

I can see in the dark
Enraged women will not be heard.
I can see in the dark
How can you deny me my anger?
I can see in the dark
Why do you neglect my fear?

I felt useless
I don’t feel anything
Unless you punched a hole in my heart
And I can’t even breath
I can’t even breath

A resounding No
I will exhale
A resounding No
I will be heard
A resounding No
A resounding No
left far away from my own feelings or needs.
being a woman, means to be told how to feel, means to go the way they laid out for you.

Imagine if you were given a box of pills
I find myself a queen deep inside this prison, tortured
You were told some of them would hurt and kill you
I will not be confined by what is divinely ordered
Some of them, would bring you joy
What it means to be a woman is vast, expansive
Would you take the risk?
Vast; expansive, Vast; expansive

I find myself a queen deep inside this prison, tortured
I will not be defined by what is divinely ordered
What it means to be a woman is vast, expansive
Vast; expansive, Vast; expansive
Vast; expansive, Vast; expansive
Vast; expansive, Vast; expansive
Vast; expansive, Vast; expansive

How can I trust you?
You were angry again
If I could I would covered my eyes

Being a woman means to be expected to live and feel far away from yourself.
means to be judged for being too pretty, ugly or sexy.
You have to behave on the way they laid out for you, cause you are expected to become a mother…. not allowed to be pretty, ugly or sexy.

A furious woman is not desirable
Enraged women will not be heard
How can you deny me my anger
Why do you neglect my fear?

We live in a world where women are constantly told to dress down
I find myself a queen deep inside this prison, tortured
To not walk alone at night
I will not be confined by what is divinely ordered
To cover their drinks in bars
And not to go home with men they don’t know
What it means to be a woman is vast; expansive
Tell me why, why do we live in a world
Vast; expansive, vast; expansive
Where men are taught to not harass
I find myself a queen deep inside this prison, tortured
To not hit, to not rape women
I will not be defined by what is divinely ordered
What it means to be a woman is vast; expansive

Goodbyes were said
I can see in the dark
I wash myself in my tears

Imagine if you were give a box of pills
You were told some of them would hurt and kill you
Some of them, would bring you joy
Would you take the risk?
Would you risk everything?

What led to the decision to feature four female vocalists on this track? Was this a deliberate choice from the beginning?

Gabriel: I have tried to make every song special in some way. 2 drummers, 2 bass players, violine, digital drums, many singers, different languages, the length of the song, and so on. So I just got an idea to let a song front the female singers in this scene. After playing for a long time with incredible Erina, I felt a strong feeling for going with this idea. I tried hard to find the singer. In Vales, but I couldn’t find or connect with her. But I found amazing singers I never heard before and the mix went perfectly. I feel so grateful that the song went so well.

Chin Pong Tang: I think this one started with a female vocalist idea, so everything started from that idea I guess.

Erina, it’s been a while since we’ve heard your voice, especially since ‘Community In The Midst Of Hope And Nothingness,’ which is a beautiful album. Your vocals seem to carry that era’s essence. What’s been happening with Heart on my Sleeve and its members over the years?

Erina: After I quit Heart on my Sleeve, I continued to rehearse with The Hope and the Failure for about a year but then we decided to call it quits.

I’ve been in different bands since the end of the 90s and I felt that my heart was not in it anymore so I decided that it was time to put the microphone on the shelf.

Another contributing reason is that I have abused my voice for years by not properly warming up nor learning real techniques which made my screaming worse and worse. I can no longer do the high pitch long screaming that I could do 20 years ago and I don’t like this “new” voice as much.

I have always had a need to be creative so I have just found other outlets for my creativity I guess.

Gabriel has always loved my voice, no matter what I thought about it, so when he asked me to join this project I agreed. This is the first time in 5 years that I have sung anything other than in the shower.

In regards to the other members, they all do music in some aspect I think. Gabriel has several bands, Kalle records songs at home and Martin is drumming in a band. I have no idea what Micke is doing nowadays but I’m sure it’s music related somehow.

Maxime Dufossé
Maxime Dufossé

For the other artists and participants of this song, what’s the latest in your primary projects? Even if they no longer exist, could you remind our readers where their stories ended? Let’s create awareness for the younger generations.

Renn: Currently I have two active bands in Chicago. One is called Rat Chasm, it’s a five-piece post-hardcore/screamo band that does a mix up of many different genres but leans heavy. We’re in the process of releasing our first album. This band started out as a COVID pod and feels like family.

Abject Horror is a four-piece, all queer, all fem punk band that’s getting ready to put out our first EP. I play bass and the front person is my childhood friend Steph who I’ve known for almost 25 years. My first band, Dirty Junk, is a two piece noise rock band I started in Minneapolis with my drummer Ace who actually taught me a lot about writing music and playing in bands. It was my first time playing guitar and doing vocals with someone.


Together we toured all over the united states which I still can’t believe I actually managed to do. I moved back to my hometown of Chicago at the end of the summer of 2020 due to Covid and while Dirty Junk is no longer active, Ace I are still tight and hope to play again one day. dana sterling, who I mentioned before is a screamo band split between four states. I left Minneapolis at a raw time, just as the uprising in response to George Floyd’s murder was winding down. I still feel very connected to Minneapolis and miss my bandmates who are still there.

Chin Pong Tang: My screamo band incaseyouleave has few singles to publish in 2024, and yeah we based in London, please check us out <3 Also my personal project Deadko is about to release the EP, featuring lots of rappers as well, can’t wait to reveal it to the world!

Sabine:  I was in a lot of projects during the last 25 years. The first bigger one was „ARSEN a.k.a. König der Monster“ (dark hardcore) and ended in 2003.

RESURRECTIONISTS ( emoviolence/ grindcore) was my next longer project and ended in 2015. At the moment you can hear me in AUREOLE OF ASH (powerviolence/grindcore)

Marc: In the past I played in the bands Eaves, Trainwreck, Glasses and Knifefight! All but Glasses are no longer active. After The Tidal Sleep also disbanded last year, I’m currently concentrating on my new band Gift. We are releasing our debut album in early May on This Charming Man Records. I’m also playing banjo in a folk project at the moment.

Taliesin Leboutillier

Taliesin: I have a few projects that are kind of on pause. My main one being my band with my brother, called ‘Sick Again’.Recently i’ve started a drum account on IG/YT doing drum covers. But I’m also going back and doing play-throughs of drum parts I wrote for bands. I’ll be adding tracks from my solo stuff, plus Goodtime Boys / No Omega / We Came Out Like Tigers / Sick Again, and other projects in the form of drum play-throughs. IG address here.

I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t ask: What other post-hardcore, screamo, or any genre projects would you recommend? Perhaps something from your local scene? What should we check out if we’re interested in good music flying under the radar?

Renn: I actually co-run a record label called Don’t Panic Records & Distro with my boyfriend and bandmate in Rat Chasm, Danny Collins. Obviously I love all the bands on our label like The Breathing Light, Heet Deth, Hostages, Human Errors, Won’t Stay Dead, The Ableist, Davey Dynamite and Je’raf. Other Chicago bands I love are Excrusis, The World in Broken Glass, Frotted, Blood Nymph, Urine Hell, Dogshit, Edging, Bussy Queen Power Trip, Miserable People.

Also shout out to Cincinnatti friends SlutBomb and OC friends at No Time Records, Corrupt Vision and Daunted. SlutBomb and Corrupt Vision both tour internationally so you can probably convince them to come to your town!

I also used to work on an archival project called UnderCurrentMPLS in Minneapolis that you can find on Instagram, Facebook and youtube. I highly highly recommend folks check out those pages if you ever want to see videos of some of the most creative and exciting bands on the planet.

Chin Pong Tang: Heaven in her arms, if you never heard of them please give it a search, it’s worthy.

Sabine:  CASSUS ( screamo from the U.K)

Marc: In my opinion, you should definitely check out the following bands: Sweat (USA), Jota (Ger), Flirt (Ger), Kenny Kenny Oh Oh (Ger), Zmar (Cz), 50mznak (Cz). I would recommend ZilpZalp Records as a label.

Taliesin: Current fave heavy record is: Gris Klein by Birds in Row.

Fave non-heavy album right now is the Chappell Roan record. So catchy! I’m a bit out of the loop on newer DIY/local music.

I’m living in Berlin at the moment and all of the smaller venues allow smoking inside. Such a bummer. Keeps me away. I do brave the smoke to see friends play, though. I caught ‘Sweat’, over from LA, the other night. Was great! Saw my pal Andreas shred in ‘Thrown’ a few months back, too.

Where can we catch up with you all online and in real life if someone wants to have a chat?

Gabriel: I live on the island of Gotland in Sweden. You could write to Ephemera on Facebook. if you wanna chat with me in private so search for Gabriel Bergman Lahovary on Facebook or @gabjiel on Instagram.

Renn: You can find all my projects on instagram and bandcamp @ratchasm @abjecthorror @dontpanicrecords are currently active. You can find dana sterling and Dirty Junk on Spotify, we’re working on putting the others there as well. Check out @undercurrentmpls as well!

Thank you for letting me be part of your music microcosm!!

Chin Pong Tang: my ig is deadko444, facebook is Narziss Tang, chat with me anytime!

Sabine: You can contact me via facebook or bandcamp (Aureole of ash)

Marc: The best way to contact me is via the band accounts. I rarely check my private profiles.

Taliesin: Anyone can message on my Taliesin_Leboutillier_drums account and I’ll write back :)

Want more Ephemera?

Be sure to check out our previous premieres and special multi-artist interviews.

The first track, “Quattro Stagioni,” set the stage with a blend of languages and instruments, featuring members from Chalk Hands, Heart On My Sleeve, Joliette, and others. Listen HERE.

Following this, “生き甲斐 Rendez-vous” showcased dual drummers and a mix of instruments like violin and trumpet, bringing together talents from Chivala, Kidcrash, Respire, and more. Give it a listen HERE.

The third track, “Desert,” offered a hauntingly vivid narrative with a dual bass approach, featuring artists from Heart On My Sleeve, Kaospilot, Sed Non Satiata, and more. Dive into it HERE.

Then came “Lost in Translation,” an 11-minute epic with contributions from Gros Enfant Mort, Øjne, Chalk Hands, Lorem Ipsum, and others, weaving an emotional journey through its length. Check it out HERE, and stay tuned for more!

Want more post hardcore and screamo?

Check out our mega compilation on Spotify and subscribe for more inspirations:

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