Since they sprang onto the scene in 2014, PVRIS has always been known for their minimalist aesthetic and dark pop hooks. The release of their third album, Use Me, on Friday, August 28, helps the group solidify a more mature sound. In an interview with DIY, frontwoman Lynn Gunn dished, “We had a very different approach this time. I really wanted us to break out of our comfort zones, and test that a little bit. The goal is to keep evolving and expanding.”
The hard work is evident, but still nods to previous works. At the end of the last album cycle, Gunn was dealing with vocal issues. As she healed, it affected the creative process for the new album. She needed to re-learn how to write for her adjusted range and reinvent how she plans out a melody. You can hear the development start on the Hallucinations EP, where a few of those songs made it to the full-length album.
Tracks like “Stay Gold” and “Loveless” stand out with a very pretty sound on the surface, but dive deep into emotion with lyrics. This change in production reflects the new direction Gunn was going with. Regardless of how they develop, PVRIS sticks to their roots for inspiration. “I’m still inspired by a lot of the same things, and it always sources from some kind of longing or sadness or frustration,” Gunn discusses in an interview with All Things Loud. “I don’t know if I could ever write a fully happy song. It’s definitely inspired by those three components, but it’s just dressing it up differently and experiencing these emotions and situations in a different perspective and a better head space.” Looking at artists that inspired them for Use Me, the band leaned into a lot of St. Vincent, Jack White, The Weekend and even pulled inspiration from Kanye West‘s Yeezus.
Having gone through some ups and downs when making the new record, PVRIS has shown that great things can come out of hard times. “Hallucinations” was one of their breakthrough singles on the album and title track for the 2019 EP. It serves as the perfect balance showcasing where they came from and where they are headed. It’s a very modern pop song with a banging chorus and a sprinkle of dark edge. All the while, you can dance to it.
Featured Image: Warner and Reprise Records