PVRIS / TBA
We spoke with: Lynn Gunn (vocals/guitar)
EXPECT IT: TBA
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: I can say that we're different—like, we as people. We recorded White Noise probably three years ago, so with this record, we have a lot more ideas. We have a lot more experiences to draw from, and just overall maturity as humans and writers. All those things combined into one. There's also more pressure on this one as well, but it's a good pressure, I think.
I definitely think there's quite a few different elements added in on this record, whether it's synth sounds, the guitar sound, vocal styling—stuff like that. It's pretty diverse and all over the place, but still has that PVRIS flair to it. I'm trying not to give away too much about it, because I still want to leave some mystery. It's definitely different. There's a lot of new and unique sounds added in on this record that will be prevalent throughout.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING THE RECORD: Not overthinking it. All the problems we've had have been good problems. We've had too many demos and too many ideas to choose from and narrow down. That was the first initial problem: just an overload of songs and ideas. So that was one of the initial challenges.
Now I think one of the things we're facing is [deciding] what song belongs where, what's going to come out first—that strategic thinking towards the record. It's all been good problems, and I'm super-happy that they're good problems and not bad problems.
IS IT MORE "MY HOUSE" OR "HOLY"? Everything. There's a lot of heavy, rock-driven songs; there's a lot of almost R&B songs; and [there's] a lot more laid-back songs. It's dynamic and all over the place. —Annie Zaleski
THE MAINE / TBA
We spoke to: John O’Callaghan (lead vocals)
EXPECT IT: Spring/Summer 2017
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: This being our sixth time, we knew going into it that we wanted to shake up the process—that we wanted to deviate from the default—our default record-mode version of the Maine. The first thing that we did was decide to record it in a different place than we have before. We have the luxury of owning our own recording equipment [and] it allows us to move freely and set up shop wherever we wanted. We were—as of a week and a half ago—we were in a town called Gualala, California, which is about three-and-a-half hours north of San Francisco. So, the first step towards change was location variance and being not in our comfort zone.
I think fans can expect a cohesive record for once. I think we did our due diligence on American Candy to take the lighthearted approach and sonic aspect of things and make things a little easier to digest and to listen to. I think we continued forward with that approach on this one, and tried to sequence the songs and the tracks in a manner that flows really naturally and nicely and added the elements that we surrounded ourselves with—the beach, the natural flow of our environment around us. It definitely sounds like us, and whatever people decide “us” is, that’s what it sounds like to me. It won’t have, like, breakdowns and screams and, you know, deathstep moments.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING THE RECORD: From my standpoint, from a songwriting standpoint, I decided not to pen lyrics right off the bat—I was more focused on melodies from the get go, which is completely different from everything else that we’ve written. I had read that, in an album by the Talking Heads, Speaking In Tongues, David Byrne had written that album in the same manner, and I thought that was a really neat approach and something that would hopefully produce different results for us. I set out to do so by basically recording all the music in ProTools and getting together with our producer, Colby Wedgeworth, and just talking nonsense and making noises with our mouths until we dug it. And I guess that’s what made it so difficult for me now—is applying words to the existing melodies. My brain doesn’t normally work like that. It’s been certainly difficult and more trying and definitely more taxing on me emotionally. There’s times of utter and complete frustration and then there’s that breakthrough, sun-through-the-clouds moment every now and again that helps me take a step back and breathe again.
IS IT MORE FOREVER HALLOWEEN OR AMERICAN CANDY? I think sonically it’ll be more similar to American Candy. I think I have a general sad disposition. It’s been hard to come to terms with, but it’s also been hard to communicate. I’m not saying I’m generally a sad person because I really do enjoy living and I do enjoy life, but it’s hard to communicate that to younger people who might feel like this sadness or whatever emotion they’re experiencing is eternal and will last forever. I’ll say that on the lyrical front, I’m trying to focus more on it being in the moment—and whatever is happening in the now as opposed to too much of what I felt in the past or what has happened before. I’d say that for complete lack of a better term, I’d say in an emo sense, it’s more lyrically like Forever Halloween. I hope people find that it’s a good complement to the sonic qualities of American Candy. —Caitlyn Ralph
PARAMORE / TBA
Eleven years and four albums later, the word "Paramore" has become synonymous with "revolution." Over and over again, they've set themselves as the benchmark for an entire family of genres, cementing their legend status despite various sound and lineup changes. Since we last saw Paramore on their self-titled record, they lost longtime bassist Jeremy Davis. But when have Paramore not pushed through adversity, coming out on the other side with power-pop guns a-blazing? Lest we forget that inner-band turmoil led to the raw songwriting on both Brand New Eyes and Paramore, so don't expect that losing Davis will mean a loss to Paramore's unshakeable strength and songwriting on album five. With a Grammy for "Ain't It Fun," a second Parahoy voyage and an imitable era culminating in the fan-focused Writing The Future tour under their belts, it's a tall order to say that Paramore can get any better on their fifth album—but we don't see them getting complacent any time soon. —Kika Chatterjee
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