The Ballroom Thieves Get Cynical in Their Upbeat Single “Tenebrist”

By Katie Upchurch

The Ballroom Thieves—comprised of Martin Earley, Calin Peters, and Devin Mauch—discuss “hope, fear, and desire” and the shallowness of people in their authentic and upbeat new single “Tenebrist.”

While, at first listen, the track seems very positive and upbeat, there is a deeper meaning behind the lyrics: the word “Tenebrist” itself refers to “a style of painting in which most of the figures are engulfed in shadow,” which is fitting considering the song explores the act of being a “charlatan,” or someone who fakes their knowledge. 

The Ballroom Thieves master elements from multiple different genres throughout the song: the song begins with a strong guitar riff and is later accompanied by a gospel-like choral ensemble declaring that, “We all muddy the water, oh, to make it seem less shallow,” implying that we are all trying to make ourselves seem better than we actually are.

The track closes with a piece of hope as the chorus and lead singer, Martin Earley, sing together, proclaiming, “We need the dark to know the light.”

While the track is a bit cynical, it is also encouraging and optimistic with an underlying hope for personal growth. “Tenebrist” offers a glance into what other amazing things we can expect from The Ballroom Thieves’ new music in the coming months—it’s a single that’s definitely worth paying attention to.

CC: Stephanie Bassos Photography

CC: Stephanie Bassos Photography

Heart Eyes Magazine