June 22, 2022

Greyhaven: All Things Bright and Beautiful

It’s been four years since GREYHAVEN first really hit the radar with their second feature film empty black; hardly the longest gap between records, but long enough for a band of their relative youth and undeniable urgency that fans were more than ready for the arrival of This bright and beautiful world. Of course, part of the wait no doubt has a very obvious and all-too-common culprit, but the pandemic wasn’t the only reason the Kentucky-based foursome took their time. Following a record that drew justified comparisons with the likes of Every time I die, STANDARD Jeans and DILLINGER’S ESCAPE PLAN is not an easy task, and yet, with This bright and beautiful world, GREYHAVEN proved to be more than up to the task.

“There were a lot of nice things said about empty black but it still felt like we were in that place where the momentum was a bit uneven,” the singer explains. Brent Mills. “And then as soon as things really picked up, COVID hit and put everything on hold for everyone. So we’ve been hungry all this time to get stuff back and now we feel like we’re hungrier than ever. I feel like this record is stronger than empty blackand i love what we did with this record, but four years of cultivating the relationships we have with each other and learning more about how we write and play together has made for a better record this time around.

“More than ever, I feel like we’ve pushed ourselves to see what we’re capable of while remaining true to our four-piece ensemble,” adds the guitarist Nick Spencer. “Making everything transferable live, which is always a fun challenge for me being the only guitarist, kind of forces you to be creative in a way that you never would have thought of if there was a second guitarist. .. I think we all pretended that we didn’t feel that pressure, but it was there.. However, as the songs took their final shape during recording, that pressure seemed vanish.

Indeed, if someone were to help ease the pressure of a group like GREYHAVEN he was a producer go putneywho also sat behind the desk during empty black, and which sounds pretty close to every other hard-hitting hardcore record released in recent years. “We understood how the other worked, so we went full speed ahead,” continues spencer. “Because of the understanding, neither party was afraid to voice musical opinions that might have been held back in the past. Plus, he’s just a great guy and it felt more like working with a friend than with a colleague.

It’s safe to say that the process resulted in a record that everyone involved can be proud of, one that nods profusely to the aforementioned bands, while giving a clear sense of GREYHAVENits own vision and identity. Like previous releases, it strikes a thoughtful balance between melody and ferocity – delivering what sounds like an arena-ready alt-rock hook for every burst of metallic hardcore savagery. “For me personally, I love the melody,” suggests Mills. “I would rather sing more than shout more, but it’s just the best tool for what I’m trying to express most of the time with it. GREYHAVEN Songs. I think we all love big moves and balance and weird juxtapositions in music and we do that all over ours. I think that kind of thing makes the music more interesting.

“I think it’s something we’re really proud of,” confirms spencer. “I think it comes down to our strong personal relationships with each other. We all have different musical tastes and all of our different preferences come out when writing, which might clash and be a nightmare, but because we all understand and respect each other, I think most of those things can go out. »

Another key element of what GREYHAVEN offer on This bright and beautiful world lies in its gripping lyrical content. Far from the lightness that the title of the album might suggest, it shows Mills baring his soul for all to see, delivering painful and poetic explorations of struggles with mental health and depression. “Thinking back to those songs, they tell me more and more where I was at the time I was writing them…I always express what I feel and that’s the only way I know to make music. music that sounds honest but I have to be careful what I say and control myself sometimes it takes me a while to realize what I might be trying to say or express it really changes all the time but it no doubt some things are pretty dark.

That said, there is also freedom and catharsis in what GREYHAVEN do with Mills adding, “I think putting these things out there in this way is therapeutic for me, it’s transformative, it’s how I make the most of the worst feelings I have.” Maybe that’s what makes the record the triumph that it is – a refusal to be reduced to submission or silence by the battles raging in our own heads. You can definitely count on GREYHAVEN to continue too, with both Mills and spencer watching with justified pride and excitement all that may happen to us This bright and beautiful world.

This bright and beautiful world is now available via Rude Records/Equal Vision Records.

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