(The Syndicate) Atreyu releases The Hope of a Spark EP via Spinefarm. The 4-tracks embody everything that the band has come to be, to mean, to represent, marking the beginning of the next chapter in the band's story, with assorted pieces of an expansive puzzle still taking shape, form, and focus.
Produced by long-time collaborator John Feldmann, the new music explores reflection and rumination on modern life's pressures, pleasures, and pains, with each track representing a snapshot of deeply personal, lived, and shared experiences.
"The overarching concept is essentially about the seasons of life," frontman, Brandon Saller explains. "Everyone goes through the same things, the ups, and downs of life. The emphasis really is the importance of at least respecting those, and finding the positives and the lessons from even your lowest moments."
The recent single, "Watch Me Burn" is the EP's phoenix rising from life's trial-by-fire, a call to arms to let renewed hope emerge from smoldering embers and ash. "To me, it's a song about being cleansed by fire," explains bassist, Porter McKnight. "Whatever it is that's bringing you down and holding you back, burn it down. Use it, learn from it, move on, and grow. That thing does not deserve you and you don't deserve it."
"It's very relatable to all of us individually," adds Saller, who leads the track's anthemic, hooky chorus with a defiant cry of 'Even when flames grow higher / I'll be fighting till I'm dead.' "But it's also incredibly pertinent to the journey of this band."
The opening track of the EP, "Drowning," was written as a collective effort from each band member who poured their own experiences, be it familial health problems that guitarist Dan Jacobs was shouldering to Saller's first encounters with feelings of anxiety or bassist, Porter's McKnight's long-running fight with depression. The second track, "God Devil," laments a loss of identity, self, and faith, a desperate cry for help from a higher power, when our greatest power is one we need to find within, following, "Capital F," which was inspired by Saller's observations of the human plight.
"These songs are the culmination of our entire artistic endeavors," McKnight attests. "It's everything we've learned as humans, everything we've ingested as musicians, and everything we've experienced in this lifetime. It is ATREYU unleashed."
"Everything that we have put out to this point has built to this moment," said Jacobs. "Something special is happening with ATREYU right now. We can feel the creativity and collaboration when the five of us get in the studio. We can feel the confidence we all give each other when we stand onstage together. And we can see it in the audience when they're losing their minds. They're having as good a time as we are ourselves."
"It feels like the world has been catching up with the diversity of influences and sounds that we've been putting into ATREYU for some time now," Saller says. "There are no limitations, no barriers."