New Music

Navigating grief and memory: behind the scenes of “Médée”, new instrumental epic from DRLCT

6 mins read

Fantin Reichler’s hauntingly beautiful journey into the depths of grief began with a desperate need to cope with the loss of his mother. The Swiss post-rock artist, known as DRLCT, channeled his sorrow and sleepless nights into crafting his debut album, “Médée.” This album is a raw, cathartic expression of pain, memories, and the finality of death, dedicated to his mother who succumbed to cancer in 2022.

Reichler’s work on “Médée” was an intense, almost obsessive process, starting immediately after his mother’s passing. In the span of two weeks, he had the foundation of four songs that encapsulated his emotional turmoil. These tracks, later polished with encouragement from his bandmates in THE KOMPRESSOR EXPERIMENT and MÉANDRE, are now a testament to his mother’s battle with illness and the profound impact it had on him.

The album opens with “Asunder,” a piece that melds influences from WE LOST THE SEA and CULT OF LUNA, reflecting the fractured reality of learning about his mother’s terminal diagnosis. “Un Jour En Octobre,” the so-called “happiest” song of the album, contrasts nostalgic moments with chaotic disruptions, mirroring his mother’s cognitive decline and the emotional rollercoaster that followed.

“Flow Your Tears, That Bluebird Said” is a poignant ballad that captures the harrowing day his mother gathered her family to bid farewell, only for death to cruelly delay its embrace.

The final track, “Interlinked,” tackles the excruciating final days of his mother’s life, with its abrupt end symbolizing the shock and finality of her passing.

Each track serves as a window into his mother’s struggle and his own journey through grief. Today, we dive into the details of each track, an intimate narrative of love, loss, and the human spirit’s resilience in the face of unimaginable pain.

Words by Fantin Reichler:



This is the only song that uses material I previously wrote. A few years ago, I wrote a proto version of it for my mom when she was still alive but already ill. She told me that it was sweet but also very powerful. Here we can really feel one of my main “conscious” influences : We Lost The Sea, with this long delayed guitar intro, leading to a more electronica part. Then we can feel a Cult of Luna influence for the second part of the song, ending with powerful growl vocals from my friend David Glassey.

The song addresses the state of mind of my mom when she learned that cancer had won the battle and that she had only a few months left to live. Her hopes, her memories, the betrayals she suffered her whole life, the loneliness through her disease, her shattered body … everything collides and tears asunder.

The music video uses modern readings of the Medea myth, where the protagonist is unjustly misunderstood and wrongly accused, leading her into a lonely and deadly exile. I use this story as an allegory for my mom who suffered physically, morally and mentally in silence her whole life and who was finally betrayed by her own body.

Un jour en Octobre

This is the “happiest” song of the album. It represents a heart-wrenching part of my mom’s ordeal. The cancer had reached her brain, and slowly, her cognitive abilities were fading. She was not able to write correctly, to lace her shoes or to use her phone anymore. She struggled to find words, or to explain her thoughts. She was not going crazy at all, but words were escaping her.

It was a time when we discussed a lot about nostalgic memories and this was really heart-warming. But often, all of a sudden, the struggle to find her words or to order her thoughts was too much for her. She even suffered from mild hallucinations due to her medications but also to her cancer, and it was horrifying.

The song follows this idea : a first nostalgic and positive part abruptly cut by a desperate chaotic second part.

For the first part, I tried to write something with a lot of dynamics, one influence would be ‘Drive the Nail’ by Mogwai. The second part consists of a post-metal chord progression getting noisier and noisier, leading to a final wall of noise.

The music video uses mixed media to evoke nostalgic memories from my mom’s life that I won’t detail here. It’s interrupted by dark thoughts, bad memories; the editing gets more and more chaotic, representing the extreme confusion she felt.

Flow your Tears, that Bluebird said

This is the song and the music video that I’m the proudest in the whole album. It’s a very ambient piece and there and there we can feel a heavy Pink Floyd’s ‘Welcome to the Machine’ influence. I was also influenced by Steven Wilson’s ‘Perfect Life’ for the spoken words.’Flow your Tears …’ represents August 14 2022, one of the most distressing days of my life. My mom had finally managed to reunite her close family, and now felt ready to leave.

All day long, the five of us waiting in anxious silence. Meanwhile she waits in bed for Death to take her. Our mom first asks us to leave her room because “she can’t let go”. A few hours later, she asks us to take turns saying goodbye to her, and to leave the house. I manage to wish her Godspeed, holding back my sobs. She waited all night, but to no avail. Death refused her her embrace.

The next day, my mom is angry. She blames herself for “not even being able to die”. She said to me a sentence that still makes my blood run cold: “This rotten body that doesn’t want me anymore needs to burn.”

The music video is an imaginary sequel to the book “The Wall” by M. Haushofer. A woman finds herself isolated from the rest of the world by an invisible wall in the Austrian Alps: alone, she tries to survive and helps the few animals she encounters.

I used this particular book because my mom was trying to finish it, but it was taking her too much concentration and she could never see the ending. In this “sequel”, the white crow (from the book) is now alone, trying to escape from this invisible prison. She recalls her past life, in which the book’s protagonist saved her. But now she’s alone. In a dream, she crosses paths with a bluebird who shows her a way to escape.

Then the dream unravels, the bluebird was just a mirage, a false psychopomp, and the white crow is still trapped. The crow is my mom, waiting for an end that doesn’t want to come. The crow is also her close family, facing this impossible situation. The Bluebird is Death refusing to do its work. The Bluebird is also my mom, who consoles us by saying “Flow your tears, you’ll feel better”.


This one is really hard to listen/watch for me. It addresses the last days of my mom’s life and her painful death. During her life, she suffered multiple heavy health issues, but she was very discreet about her suffering. In her final days, seeing her cry out in pain was horrifying. The morphine wasn’t really helping. She couldn’t hold anymore. She was desperately hoping to die. We – the close family – were caught in tormenting emotions : we wanted the pain to end but it meant that we’d lose her forever.

I didn’t know how to handle the writing for this song; I went to a friend’s theater play where the soundtrack was just a single electric guitar with a clean sound playing a very melancholic and simple melody. I liked this idea a lot, and I started working on a good melody. I finally reached something that I liked, it wasn’t conscious but it sounds a bit like John Murphy’s “In The House” and I decided to keep it. I arranged a slow 5 minutes build-up containing barely any drums.

The second part of the song is very intense with heavily distorted guitar, post-rock tremolo picking and a growl/clean vocals duet. This part abruptly cuts with a lonely acoustic guitar fading into crashing waves : my mom dies, the last sparks of her life fading into non-existence. I hesitated to write such a violent contrast, but it represents perfectly the shock that we all felt when we reckoned that she was definitely gone. The song needs this abrupt cut.

The music video evokes multiple references, the most important would be Stephen King’s “Dark Tower II” with an infinite beach, giant crabs and supernatural doors leading to parallel universes. I used these as symbols, allegories to my mom’s last painful steps towards her long awaited death. As her wish, we scattered her ashes at sea, near a cape in Southern France. This is the cape shown at the end of the music video and represented a few times in the other music videos.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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