PVRIS Draws on the Occult with the Video for their Comeback Single, “Death of Me”
By Erin Christie
It’s been a decent amount of time since Boston alt band PVRIS last released something new. Since the album cycle accompanying 2017’s All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, the band’s been ominously radio silent, having archived their Instagram feed and remaining hardly active on social media in regards to the band. Having signed to Warner Records / Reprise earlier this year, fans and the trio engaged in an intense staring match, waiting for the other to blink. Now that the light at the end of the tunnel has arrived with the drop of their comeback single, “Death of Me,” it’s time for fans to sigh a breath of relief.
The most mesmerizing thing about the band—comprised of lead singer Lynn Gunn, bassist Brian MacDonald, and guitarist Alex Babinski—is their unmistakable duality: PVRIS can successfully play in front of a packed room of moshing, hardcore fans at Warped Tour but you can also picture their music being blasted at a rave. They’re magnetic in nature, forcing your hips to sway and your shoulders to roll back and forth as if drawn to it. Since their first record, White Noise (2014), they’ve remained consistent in their stunning ability to combine their roots in alt-punk (emphasized by their short stint with Fall Out Boy in 2016) with what they’re known for, their highly electronic-leaning instrumentation.
“This love looks like a loaded gun,” Gunn states bluntly as the track opens, aware of the potential dangers hidden beneath the exterior of the relationship she’s entered. Cut over signature PVRIS-like production (dance-style synthetic beats and hypnotic drum-tracking), Gunn’s power-packed, emotionally-potent voice shines brightly. As she describes her toxically intoxicating reality, a situation that many find themselves in when blinded by lust, love, or anything else, you can’t help but feel empathetic while also wanting to dance along.
In the accompanying music video (directed by Katharine White), Gunn is seen being held back physically by a mass of people, representing the shackles holding her in this relationship that she knows isn’t good for her. Biblically speaking, this video speaks loud and clear, too. Playing a convincing Eve, Gunn appears transfixed by the large snake wrapped around her. Imagery such as this perfectly portrays the temptation this track describes: even when you know something is bad for you (or possibly venomous, in this case), it makes you feel drawn to it even more. Despite her recognition of the implications—as made clear through the lyrics—she can’t help but love the fact that love could be the “death of [her].”
As Gunn described for the video’s official press release, “We wanted to match the seductive grittiness of the song with uncertain, tense, and subliminal visual themes.” This video reads like a hit thriller, sound-tracked by an unconventionally upbeat score. With its haunting themes, cult-ish demeanor, and strikingly brilliant photography, it’s a living piece of art (as is the track itself).
With a comeback single this powerful, there’s no telling how quickly the world’s collective socks will be knocked off once their entire third studio record hits the airwaves.
In the meantime, PVRIS has just announced that they will be heading out on the road for a short run (including a hometown show on September 17) this fall: check out the dates here.