On the first listen, it’s not totally clear what “Charlie” — the newest single from Portland dance-pop band Seance Crasher — is about. It doesn’t totally matter; the song is three minutes of indelible, sugary, pure-pop bliss. When the hooks are this good, you don’t need a whole lot else.

Seance Crasher

Seance Crasher

Todd Walberg/Courtesy of the artist

But that means there’s an added bonus here when you dig a little deeper. The song’s glittery synths and anthemic chorus belie some seriously dark and profound lyrical content. “Charlie” is a love letter to the narrator’s confidant on the other end of a crisis hotline. (And it’s autobiographical, according to singer Kevin Rafn.)

Thematically, “Charlie” brings to mind indie rock band Charly Bliss’ “Ruby,” another paean to a therapist disguised as a saccharine pop song. But in the context of synth-pop — a genre that often favors catchy sounds at the expense of interesting lyrics — “Charlie” is an impressive accomplishment. Rarely has despair sounded this sweet or danceable.

Seance Crasher is performing in Portland, Oregon, at Holocene on July 18 with KILEO and Greater Kind.