Deafheaven – “The Gnashing”

Photo by Robin Laananen

Deafheaven – “The Gnashing”

“The Gnashing” is a great example of Deafheaven’s journey to make the best shoegaze album for this year.  The beautiful hazing mix of instrumentation with the vocals floating into the atmosphere makes this song exciting and confusing.  The lyrics match the vocals and the instrumentation. According to lead vocalist George Clarke:

 “Except during the writing process, we noticed that the riffs weren’t amping up into metallic sections—and everyone was okay with it,” he says. “It wouldn’t have made sense to make a different record, or it would have been very ham-fisted.”

This album, best represented by “The Gnashing” is definitely not the metal we often expect from Deafheaven.  Clarke mentions that this album is their Kid A, a reference to Radiohead.  Clarke says, and I agree (according to his interview with Pitchfork):

We did a couple short case studies, with Radiohead being the biggest one. We were joking the whole time about wanting this to be our Kid A, where we filter our own sound through a different medium—because I still think that that record sounds like them as much as this record still sounds like us. And then we looked at bands like Cave In or AFI who made major label jumps and stylistic changes and what that meant for them—how we feel about it now and how we felt about it at the time. Those are conversations that we had, but there is no specific model. Even with Kid A, bringing up that record while making your own is more a tool to just give yourself confidence, knowing that someone somewhere did this before. And perhaps it’s not out of the realm that you could try something that’s a bit of a 180 and not have it sink you.

I tell you, this album, and especially this song, is a great onward move for Deafheaven.  Check it out.  Below are the lyrics:

“The Gnashing” Lyrics:
Buried secrets
Mythic meanings
in tender oceans spilling crimson
A leaking thimble flowing fragile
Oozing tension into blue

Hear these howls hurling our present
I know what this costs us
Hear these howls
Embrace the gnashing
I know what this costs us
I know it’s exhausting you

Without you, I am hushed
A hush like cloaking garments over shivers
In this honeyed season,
why are the boys bleeding?
Have your tears touched someone’s eyes tonight?

Now I see you’re weeping with reason

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