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Singled Out: Victorian Halls' Tonight Only The Dead

04/30/2015
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Today Victorian Halls vocalist Sean Lenart tells us about "Tonight Only The Dead" from their upcoming sophomore album, "Hyperalgesia," which will be released by Victory Records May 19th. Here is the story:

This was the last song written for the new record. To a certain extent it was an afterthought. We had the final track listing, but felt the record was missing a certain element. I now appreciate that instinct. While not necessarily reflective of the record as a whole, it offers another layer of intrigue.

This song started off with simply the tone and timbre of the guitar. I found it to have an alluring bell like quality. When I listen now, it comes across more so as a piano or synths, either way I felt it was charming and a great starting point. From that point, I took more of a don't screw it up approach. I added synths, drums, all kinds of layers, and then ultimately, stripped it down significantly. I brought it back closer to the original idea. I think that bare bones version is pretty interesting; maybe we'll release that at some point.
Occasionally, I labor over words; that was not the case here. The lyrics came easy, as I felt more as if a journalist reporting on an event, then a lyricist "crafting" words. It was about a particular fleeting situation that I feel is somewhat universal in everyone's life. More so, it's about knowing you're in that moment when you are in it. That kinda of awareness is difficult, but when you find it, it can be pretty special.

The tag, "tonight only the dead are safe and sound" I felt embodied all that was the song. This is the carelessness of the moment. I feel it is a light track and is spelt out through symbolism. Most importantly, it eerily slips into the track perfectly. While recording, we asked out friend Aubyn to add the feminine element the song so desperately needed. The coupled falsetto vocals float above the lead, and it really comes across as intended. When listening to the track I wanted it to read as slow motion. Again, getting back to knowing when you're in the moment: deep breaths.

So what we did from there is we took that original idea, and worked it for the video. We shot over a couple days in Malibu and some of the Californian desert. The landscape definitely gave it the cinematic element we were looking for. Best part had to be driving around the desert in a late 60s Oldsmobile convertible light headed from the gas fumes... I felt we were near turning it into Fear And Loathing; the tone like the video is light. After filming the second night, we celebrated with the cast and crew. I think everyone was proud of what they'd done in a very short amount of time. Needless to say it made for a miserable flight back to Chicago.
Stay tuned for the music video!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the album right here!

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