PVRIS - Anyone Else
A week before our interview, Kerrang! was sent seven songs from the album. The tracks are still unmistakably PVRIS; that shadowy, ominous electro-pop is still there, but it’s quickly apparent that there are also new, diverse elements at play which barely hint at the struggles Lynn was going through.
“We didn’t think about it too much,” says Lynn of the writing and recording process. “We followed our tastes on White Noise and what felt the best or most cathartic or honest. After growing up on the road for three years, developing as humans, that’s a natural progression in itself. We combined that with the same approach we took to making the first record along with having more resources.”
“When we did the first record, it was in a small bedroom in Florida with limited resources,” says Brian. “But we chose this studio because it had a specific console that we wanted to record on; there were different amps and pianos, and it was a great environment to work in – even though it was supposed to be haunted! We weren’t limited as to what we could do this time. It was the best feeling ever when we finished; I want to go back and make another!”
“It has the same heart and soul, it’s just got new clothes on,” Lynn continues with a laugh. “We didn’t want to make the same record twice, but it was important to have the same mindset and just follow your inner compass. A lot of it was about letting go of control for a moment to let things come to you.”
Three years after recording their debut, it’s clear the time spent on the road has afforded the trio a wisdom beyond their years. Lynn’s lyrics are more direct, and the seven songs we’ve heard are shot through with the world-weariness of a young woman who has grown up in public and faced her own personal challenges along the way.
There are themes of love and loss, but they resonate with a quiet strength of someone who has bounced back after mending a broken heart: “The song Lung reflects on that and taking ownership of why things went south,” she admits.
And with the benefit of hindsight, some of the admissions of heartbreak which were written and demoed on tour took on a different meaning entirely when they walked through the doors of that little haunted church on Genesee Street. Take the song Anyone Else, for example.
“The first verse was written when we came off Warped Tour and I’d just broken up with my girlfriend of three years,” she explains. “Everything kinda came crashing down. The first verse is meant to be this really endearing love song, even though we’d parted ways. I wrote the second verse while we were in the studio. Time had caught up and I didn’t feel that way anymore and I realised how toxic a lot of aspects of that relationship were.”
The slow-burning and ethereal Separate, meanwhile, was the result of a stay in a creepy mansion while they thrashed out new ideas in New Orleans.
“It really freaked me out,” she says. “I was too afraid to go to sleep, so I would stay awake until five in the morning when the sun would come up. On the last night, I was especially scared and we started that song and it all came flooding out. Separate is one of my favourite songs on the record.”
There’s also explorations of past lives on a track called Bells, which is a working title and may change when the album is released.
“The idea of past lives was one thing I was obsessed with over the last few years,” she reveals. “Past lives, reincarnation, soul connections and everything in that world. That was a heavy thing for me and I found a lot of comfort in that. It was a beautiful thing to explore.”
Which historic era do you most identify with, then?
“If I had to pick one time period, it would be Victorian London, especially the architecture and paintings,” she says without missing a beat. “The turn of the century ties in with the record and the visuals and overall atmosphere of the songs. I definitely feel this crazy longing for that time period. It became so prevalent to me and I really dove into it.”
It may come as no surprise that the intriguing album title comes from the pen of the late American poet, Emily Dickinson. A prolific writer, who wrote over 1,800 poems that dealt largely with themes of death and immortality, lived and died in the band’s home state of Massachusetts. The title, taken from the two-stanza Parting, presented itself to Lynn quite by accident while she was meditating on the themes of love and loss while watching a video on YouTube.
“It was total serendipity,” says Lynn. “I was staying in Sacramento editing the music video for Heaven with our director Raul [Gonzo]. I was looking for an entire day and stepped back from it. I was watching a TED Talk on love and the woman mentioned the last line of the poem and a lightbulb went off. I looked up the poem and thought it was beautiful. It was a happy accident. That’s another thing that’s present on the album – letting things go and letting them come to you. I love the duality and balance of the words.”