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“Making the record changed us as songwriters and musicians. In many ways I feel like it set me free as an artist because every decision made in the writing process was for myself, with no fear for anyone else’s expectations of what our third album should sound like. Be it our fans or our record label.”
They’ve always wielded this level of magic though…
The group’s 2016 self-titled debut, Bad Omens, yielded fan favorites such as “Glass Houses” and “The Worst In Me,” which eclipsed 20.4 million Spotify streams. On its heels, 2019’s Finding God Before God Finds Me spawned “Dethrone” [9.5 million Spotify streams] and “Careful What You Wish For” [8.8 million Spotify streams]. Along the way, they toured with numerous marquee acts and received tastemaker praise.
After their first headline tour was canceled mid-way at the top of the Global Pandemic, the band found themselves at home in Los Angeles with plenty of time. Where they absorbed and imparted a different palette of unexpected inspirations. Channeling what the frontman describes at times as a “cursive sound,” they embraced a newfound confidence and boundlessly loose creativity. Anything went in the studio, and all “rules” were broken. Noah and Jolly wrote, produced, and engineered the music themselves while GRAMMY® Award-nominated producer and songwriter Zakk Cervini [Halsey, Grimes, Poppy, blink-182] lent his talents with the mix and master. Challenging himself, Noah decided to “make a track sampling items around the house, none of which were musical instruments.”
This ultimately became the framework for the first single “THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND.” Claps puncture the icy soundscape as his voice stretches from a breathy moan into an evocative and entrancing hook, breaking from a whisper into the seductive chant, “It wasn’t hard to realize. Love’s the death of peace of mind.” It culminates on a climactic scream uplifted by a distorted crunch.
“The whole record really details the loss of peace of mind,” he explains. “The lyrics in the title track are a little more specific in terms of the conflict at the heart of something more intimate and personal.”
Then, there’s “TAKE ME FIRST.” The vocals swirl around a syncopated riff before bleeding into a skyscraping refrain.
“It was written in the moment about another personal experience,” he goes on. “As I zoomed out, I actually felt like at times I was talking about the band and not just this one experience. Now in several ways, to me it’s about what we face and go through as a band right now.”
Elsewhere, his feral delivery tears through a guttural groove on “ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE,” while emotionally charged vocals coast above a string-laden hum on “JUST PRETEND” before a rush of distortion on the hook.
“There are a lot of scenes and elements addressed in the lyrics about social media and the disconnect,” he goes on. “Every song traces back to not being able to have peace of mind because of something, whether it’s your guilt, regret, indifference with things you can’t change, or because you’re struggling to pay your bills. There are so many messages represented across the record, but it all falls back to how I wish I could feel at ease.”
By speaking it aloud, Bad Omens offer a level of comfort and empathy, with a sinister shroud. At the same time, they also give rock music a sexy new shape on THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND.
“Sonically, we want to do something you can’t arrive late or early too,” he leaves off. “You can’t cheat your way to the final act. You have to get on the ride and process it until the end. The songs are meant to be heard from start to finish. We want you to take the whole trip with us.”
ERRA is a five-piece progressive metalcore band hailing from Birmingham, Alabama that formed in 2009. Their namesake comes from Akkadian mythology and represents mayhem. The band, consisting of Jesse Cash, Sean Price, Alex Ballew, and JT Cavey, solidified their technical sound after relentlessly practicing and writing. They take their influences from well respected groups like Misery Signals, Born of Osiris, As I Lay Dying and Saosin, and thrive on being creative and showcasing their talent through their intense live performances. ERRA takes great pleasure in offering their refreshing sound in a sometimes stale and over-saturated market. It’s not about fashion or status; it’s about using raw talent and energy to create genuine songs that will give hope to the listener.
“This is the most time we’ve had to create an album since 3D,” Devin admits. “We actually had time to reflect on our past, but most importantly what we want to become. Beyond the music, it felt like an evolution for us emotionally. We finally feel like the band we were meant to be. If you strip it down, it’s not just drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and minor production. The electronic aspects could be their own songs, and we aim to blend everything as seamlessly as possible.” “We went into making this record mindfully,” he admits. “It’s important to deliver the live performance as close to the album as possible. I wanted to step up. I had no idea what a challenge it would be; it was like learning a different language.” “We’ve had so many changes, and it’s an important time,” he goes on. “When we got back on stage, I had no idea what to expect, but our fans came out and showed love when we needed it the most. We wanted to give them what they deserve, which is the best record possible.” In order to achieve that vision, the musicians took a different route. To record Treehouse, they enlisted a cadre of producers including Erik Ron [Panic! at the Disco, Saosin], Nick Scott [Asking Alexandria, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!], and Taylor Larson [Periphery, Veil of Maya] as well a mixing by David Bendeth [Paramore, Breaking Benjamin]. They would also track the bulk of material in Los Angeles—another first—and the rest in Detroit.
“Lyrically, this one discusses family issues,” continues Devin. “The past year has been really hard. I realized I’m on my own, and it’s do or die with this band. It’s my life.” It’s that honesty which will continue to resonate the loudest among listeners and why I See Stars shine. “This is the most honest we could be,” Devin leaves off. “That’s what I want people to see.”