Greyhaven, a four-piece progressive post-hardcore group from Louisvile, Kentucky are back and ready shed light on life’s darkest areas with the announcement of their new record, ‘This Bright and Beautiful World’. But first, Brent Mills (vocals), Nick Spencer (guitar), Johnny Muench (bass) and Ethan Spray (drums) are ready to have some fun with the drop of the newest single, “ALL CANDY”.
With two records under their belt (‘Cult America’ and ‘Empty Black’), the band began writing their third record utilizing classic Greyhaven chaotic energy. Having written this record in 5 different locations, the band wanted to make sure that all of their ideas were able to present themselves once they entered the studio with producer Will Putney. Taking pride in simply being “4 guys who like to play music”, Greyhaven was confident that they would be able to sort through the 18 demos that they entered the studio with and pick out the best new songs of the batch. The guys endured a very organic process and like to ensure that this record sounds like it was meant to be played live.
Compared to ‘Empty Black’, Mills had a hard time distinguishing a clear path for ‘This Bright and Beautiful World’. His desire to express topics in a more poetic light left Mills feeling like his lyrics weren’t doing them justice. Wanting to really flow with the emotions of the songs, Mills even stated that some of his favorite parts of this record were written on a whim.
The lyrics dive into the themes of frustration, depression, the inability to fully express yourself and appreciating the darker parts of life even though that may seem impossible at times. ‘This Bright and Beautiful World’ is an extremely personal record for Mills and is mainly “a record about someone who is really frustrated at how they operate in the world.”
The first single off of their new record, “ALL CANDY”, is a bit of a different sound than what Greyhaven has released in the past. Not following their usual pattern of spastic riffs laced with sarcastic lyrics, the band really wanted to not shy away from the poppier route that surprisingly unfolded with this song. While it may sound lighter than their typical work, the lyrics and meaning behind the song are actually very dark. Written while Mills was struggling with his own mental health, this song demonstrates one’s ability to completely block out any negative thoughts and pretend like everything is fine. Mills personified the worst parts of himself as ghost that follows him no matter where he goes. He wanted to shed light on the realization that “you might go out in the world and pretend that you’re happy, but the depression is still there and you will never see life the same way as long as it’s around.” This may be the “fun” song on the album, but it sure does not skimp out on Greyhaven’s darker persona.
While “ALL CANDY” invokes a “bittersweet” emotion, the remainder of the album touches on the darker side of mental health. For example, “AND IT’S STILL TOO LOUD” indulges the listener in what it feels like to feel empowered by self destructive behavior. While writing, Mills reflected on the emotion stating, “I have the power to really lean into this and destroy everything if I wanted to”. Accompanied with fast-paced melodies and intricate riffs, it takes the listener on the wild ride that destructive behavior can lead someone down.
Mills hopes listeners develop a “gratitude for life” after listening to ‘This Bright and Beautiful World’ and wants to help people come to terms with who they are. Even if things seem dark, this record has an important takeaway – “Find joy in small things. It’s worth putting in the work to find what you think is beautiful in the world.”