As soon as I enter the back entrance of the venue, away from the cold and the dark of an ever present English autumn I’m greeted by a flurry of activity. Welcoming smiles and the sound of laughter bounce around the dark corridors of Birmingham’s O2 Academy.
“It’s a gloomy day,” Pvris’ Lynn, says with a beaming smile. I’m welcomed into a small, but comfortable, dressing room, lit with garish yellow lights, bringing with them a kind of warmth. I can’t help but think that the seeming contradiction sets a perfect scene.
The eagerly anticipated second album from Pvris, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, embarks on a journey, start to finish, from the darkness and desperation of mourning to acceptance of loss. It explores the push and pull through rhetoric and finds a balance in contradiction. The album begins with songs such as ‘Half’ and ‘What’s Wrong’ that focus on the internal monologue. As the album builds, songs like ‘Walk Alone’ and ‘Same Soul’ start asking questions outwardly with the album ending on a sense of realisation with songs such as Separate.
As a collective, the album creates a contrast between darkness in the lyrics and the pumping energy of the music around them. The writing process that Lynn describes makes this distinction understandable.
“‘What’s Wrong’ was kind of like purging. Purging everything negative and kind of cynical,” She tells me.
Additionally, I wondered whether any of the songs have taken on new meanings over time. Lynn confirms, “That happened a lot with this record I think… mainly because a lot of songs started where like I write and do demos – a lot of the time it’ll be a verse and a chorus and then kind of waiting until we get into the studio to finish it.”
She explains how some songs on the record started as demos that were up to two years old. “We were finishing them in the present time so it was like, in a way, there’s some kind of conflicting perspectives on certain subjects. Or just like time to reflect on what the first verse was about and the second verse and kind of playing it off that way.”
It’s obvious that this album was a period of reflection. By presenting her internal thoughts, Lynn hopes that the album conjures up emotion in their listeners. “Any type of emotion, as long its cathartic in some sense whether it’s getting happiness out or sadness out; that’s the main intention is cathartic to listen to.
“At the end of the day I just want people to feel whatever they wanna feel from it but there is always that hope, you wanna hope that someone is gonna feel something similar to what you felt.”
A common problem, but one that can leave writer’s feeling trapped, is writers block. In Lynn’s case, she explains, feeling uninspired leads to experimentation – the band has even found themselves making remixes.
Recently, she outlines how she’s found herself “breaking out of a comfort zone,” explaining she has started to challenge herself by writing the words first, as poems, and building the music around it, which she explains is new to her. “Little things like that, like set small intentions or small little challenges just to keep you on your toes.”
It’s clear that she’s passionate about learning and is as much interested in the writing process as the performance. And what follows only solidifies that.
“I never want to compromise the point I want to get across but sometimes you’ll say something really complex and you’ll realise that saying it in a much simpler way comes across even stronger. So I think it’s about choosing whether you want that lyric to be complex or if you want it to be simple and which way, and which context it’s the strongest.
“Sometimes you say this pretty profound thing that will be pretty long and it’s like can you strip that back and have the same kind of impact and feel like simplicity has more to it.” This is best demonstrated in ‘Anyone Else’, with a punchy chorus that strips back the intricate metaphorical lyrics we are used to from Pvris.
“It’s never about making anything perfect, I don’t think anything’s perfect, I don’t think anything should be,” Lynn is reflecting on the perfectionist mentality, “it’s more just wanting things to be executed in the best way.”
We can only imagine what comes next for a band that in just two years has skyrocketed from playing to a UK crowd of 250 to now, playing sold out shows to thousands across the UK. Whatever their next move fans eagerly await new music that they can sink their teeth into and more shows in which to immerse their senses.
From a band that truly cares, and has been greeted by such a warm reception I, for one, can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Words by Laura Barsby
Photos by Max Fairclough
Words by HQ