White Noise may be one of my favorite albums ever. A band that seems to have come out of nowhere, PVRIS (pronounced Paris) is dark, literally—they only wear black, and every music video is shot in a vaguely horror-esque, trapped-in-Hot-Topic kind of setting. The musicianship and command of the rookie, two-year-old Rise Records trio is captivating. Lynn is the Hayley Williams of her generation–without the glam and boyfriend, and with more sass. Not that PVRIS needs comparison to another female-fronted group–Gunn has the presence, talent and force to take the reigns of feminism and quality in her scene. With new attention from MTV and other major outlets, simply put, PVRIS is blowing up—and oh, are they worth the hype.
Debut album White Noise is 10 songs packed with spacey, dark electro-pop that is as heavy and beautiful as it is confident and commanding. Formed in Lowell, Mass., front woman Lynn Gunnulfsen carries the album vocally, while band-mates Alex Babinski (lead guitar/keys) and Brian MacDonald (bass/keys) bring so much musicianship and melodics one wonders how such a layered album could be done by a three piece.
White Noise opens with “Smoke”, a haunting and heavy track that sets the stage perfectly. Next are lead singles, “St. Patrick”—quickly a fan favorite—and “My House”. Gunnulfsen delivers a range of emotion and pitch, vocally. “I know it’s chemicals / And I need a miracle / But please stay cause I think you’re a saint / I think you’re an angel”. The most attractive part of Lynn’s delivery is the unwavering confidence–she reaches a raspy tone while yelling lines, “You give me something to think about / That’s not the shit in my head.”
We see the band’s confidence and edge on “My House”, as again Gunnulfsen captains the PVRIS ship with so much poise and command it is sexy and almost intimidating. On the chorus she declares, “It’s my house / And I think it’s time to get out / It’s my soul / It isn’t yours anymore”.
White Noise slows down with the fourth track, “Holy”. Electronic beats layered over Gunn’s haunting vocals as she sings of hypocrisy in religion. Sometimes, it is hard to believe Gunn is freshly 21 years old—lyrically, White Noise never has a dull moment. The album picks back up with “Fire”, showcasing the group’s energy and confidence. Gunn’s in your face delivery and guitar riffs make “Fire” one of the album’s best. “You were a walking, talking, corpse at best / And I swear I couldn’t wait to get you off my chest,” she shouts.
The album continues with the slowed-down, dreamy track “Eyelids”, an electric anthem about what seems to be long distance relationships. “Eyelids” falls in the vein of The XX, or if Starfucker had a ballad. The catchy “Mirrors” follows with a heavy chorus and shows the pop influence behind the group. The ninth track, “Ghosts”, quickly becomes one of my favorites. The electric-pop loops, 808’s and keys, Gunn’s vocals are soft and for once, vulnerable. “If I change and I start to fade / And all the green in my eyes desaturate / It’s my head not my heart that’s strayed / I’m sorry I keep pushing you away”, she desperately sings out in a stripped down tone. The album finishes with “Let Them In”, a dark and heavy closer that ties everything together just how we would imagine.
PVRIS starts a tour of the US in June.