PVRIS’s sophomore release crushes expectations


Most artists tend to get their “sound” defined by the release of their second album. The second album often brings about change, whether that be a change in ego, song quality, or genre. When one of my favorite bands, PVRIS, announced the debut of their second album, I was concerned as to whether the band’s new release would live up to the expectations from the previous album. However, upon hearing the first few seconds of the opening track, “Heaven,” my doubts were settled. Two years after their last full-length album, PVRIS’s new release, “AWKOHAWNOH,” is a great step in the right direction for this band.

After an album with a rock-electronica feel, PVRIS has continued to produce a similar sound. While this album does not quite fit in with any distinct genre, it still produces a vibe that is distinctly unique to them. Overall, the album proves that the band has a greater musical control compared to their last album. I was pleasantly surprised with the improvement of vocal emotion, tone, and range. The maturity present in the instrumental is also worth noting. The instrumental is filled with a mix of sounds including piano, guitar, bass, synth, and harp. While it may seem that this is an odd combination of instruments, the album flows seamlessly from track to track. Most tracks end with very similar outros, which helps add to the album’s overall flow.

While the songs seamlessly move from track to track, there is a sharp contrast of style between the songs, which makes it very refreshing to listen to. Some songs, such as “Anyone Else,” contain a more pop-like influence. Other tracks, such as “No Mercy,” contain rock infused with electronic sound. Each song bringing a variety of genres adds contrast throughout the album, and the paces of songs vary from track to track. The mix of both sounds and genres helps separate the album from others in the “alternative” grouping.

The artistic side of the songs is very noticeable through the music videos published thus far. Compared to their last album, PVRIS demonstrate a great amount of flow not only in the songs but in the videos as well. The videos have been tied together beautifully; that can be partially credited to the lyrics. Lyrically, this album hits it out of the park. The lyrics are very original, filled with rich imagery, which in turn effortlessly translates to the music videos.

However, I would say listening from track to track is a little disappointing. The end of the album tends to lose a bit of steam from beginning to end. The last two songs are great, but a bit more mild in terms of both lyrics and pace. While these are not bad songs, they just tend to slow the momentum of the album.

Overall, PVRIS’s sophomore release is a force to be reckoned with. If you have the slightest liking to any sort of alternative sub-genre, I highly suggest you listen to PVRIS now. If you choose to wait, you will probably be hearing them soon enough on your local radio station, after all, they will definitely be around for awhile.