Artists You May Like: Walk the Moon, Neon Trees, Queen
Recommended Tracks: Only the Lonely Survive, Wish You Were Here, The Killing Kind
Usually, good things come to those who wait. Fans of the band, Marianas Trench, have been waiting a few years for the band’s newest album, Phantoms, so one would assume that this latest endeavor must be another great work of art. Full of theatrical moments, textures, colors, and unconventional sounds, this album is proving not to disappoint.
The album begins with “Eleonora,” which is all a capella. It is a spooky, yet lovely, start to the record, and captures the theme of the album. Frontman, Josh Ramsay, has mentioned that the concept for Phantoms deals with being in a house that is haunted by the ghosts of former lovers. When the backing vocals on this track cut out and we are left with Ramsay’s line, “silence shares my madness,” we cannot help but feel chills as we begin to embrace the eerie quality of this album.
The two tracks that follow, “Only the Lonely Survive” and “Echoes of You,” tap into the pain that someone might experience after a break up. The former track is a little more celebratory than the latter, suggesting that it is okay to feel upset once the relationship ends because then you know that what you had was real. In “Echoes of You,” our subject cannot get away from the spirit of the past lover. The dramatic change in the song towards the end of the track really plays on the feeling of hearing voices in your head and how uncomfortable it all feels.
The middle of the album is brighter, as the songs have more of an upbeat, pop vibe. One of the standouts in this cluster of songs is the track, “Wish You Were Here,” which incorporates a few different genres of songs. It is almost like a pop song from the 50s, with different harmonies and quaint melodies, but the fusion of different sounds and background textures makes it more on the modern side. It also features a gospel-esque bridge, which enhances the notion of wishing or pleading for someone to come into your life.
One of my favorite songs on this album, “Glimmer,” is a dynamic ballad. When I listen to this track, I envision that dramatic moment in a movie, where the protagonist makes the revelation that we had been waiting for the entire time. At this point in the movie, the main character is walking down the street in the rain, reliving memories that he had with his other half. He realizes that he messed up or that he was wrong and, now that he is on his own, he is willing to make things right. To better reflect the lyrics of the song, the darkness points out the fact that the light that he once had is gone. As we wait to see what happens next, we are left with the sentiment, “can we forgive and forget,” making us hope that things will work out.
Something that makes Marianas Trench so unique is that they approach old topics in a new way. For instance, we probably all know those songs that deal with heartbreak or sadness. However, Marianas Trench taps into ideas that we don’t usually explore in those kinds of songs, such as why letting go of a relationship can be sad or why letting go of a relationship can be validating. The next two tracks after “Glimmer” are great examples of this, as they focus on relationships that needed to end, even if doing so proved to be difficult.
The closing track on this album is probably one of the most incredible closing tracks that I have ever heard. Reminiscent of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” this song sounds like multiple songs in one. My words cannot do this song justice, so I won’t even try to touch on all of the different aspects of this track. Each section is like organized chaos. They build onto each other, while staying central to a certain theme or idea. There are a lot of surprising moments and twists and, if I reveal anything else, I will have revealed too much. It is just a fascinating track and wraps up the album perfectly.
I have to admit, I was not too familiar with Marianas Trench before I did this review. I had no idea what I was in for when I started listening to this album, but it was such a great experience. The bands that are going to survive are the ones who are unapologetically creative and are not afraid to create interesting tracks, even if they are a little unconventional. I am excited to see what they will do next.
You can stream Phantoms on sites like Apple Music and Spotify.
Catch Marianas Trench on tour here.