In 2018, Elizabeth Seward got together with Cameron Spies (Night Heron, Radiation City) at his Gold Brick Studios to record the sparse but intense “Burn Like a Mother” under her Collapsi moniker. A long-running solo project and creative outlet for Seward, 2019 sees her return with her second official release—a driving, fuzzy, brooding rocker—as Collapsi, again collaborating with Spies.
“The initial idea for this song [‘Wither Away’] came to me five years ago. I was pregnant and feeling particularly creative during my second trimester,” Seward tells. “I got a MIDI controller and made a dark and doomy electronic instrumental demo with the chorus' base chords. I left it alone only to revisit it early last year and complete the song on guitar. I did a demo of it with Kelan Gilbert (Fine Animal) last May, but never released it. Like the rest of my songs these days, it seemed to come to life more with time, so I let it sit for a while. It wasn't until this spring that I came up with the intro and the outro. The technique for those parts was fun to play on guitar and new to me, so I wanted to put it into a song somewhere. Once it hit me that it would work with ‘Wither Away,’ the song felt ready.”
Spies helped with production and provided bass guitar to bring the track the life while Charles Richard (Seward’s former bandmate in Devola, which ended in 2008) played drums. This track is actually their first time releasing music together in over a decade.
Lyrically, the song talks “about being in a situation that you know you're losing yourself to—there are so many sustained situations that can drain the life force from a person—and looking at it in stark terms: Will I allow myself to wither away or will I uproot and seek out the sustenance I need to not only survive, but thrive? Recognizing what's happening to you precedes acquiring an ability to do anything about it, so, for me, this song was me breaking the harsh truth to myself. I wrote it for me about personal circumstances and dynamics, but I feel it can be applied beyond that. Politically, spiritually, where we're at with our respective communities, our trajectory for our dreams and goals... are we thriving or are we withering? And if we're withering, let's admit it so that we can then find revitalization.”