Damn, Thornhill knows how to make a good song. “Where We Go When We Die” is the second single from the Melbourne band’s upcoming album The Dark Pool, and this new tune has surely intensified hype to frenzied levels! It’s not just me, right?
Feeling like a maturation from the tracks of Butterfly, “Where We Go When We Die” seems like Thornhill at their best to date; taking the thread-like meandering of song structure we’ve heard in tracks like “Temperer” and coming at it stronger than ever. Inspiring goosebumps and free-flowing emotion, “Where We Go When We Die” tells a story and does so while keeping the listener hooked on every shift and mood along the way. The song also comes coupled with a must-see music video, seeing scene music video legends Kez Ellis-Jones and Ed Reiss team up to create something cinematic, adding more impact to the emotions of the song.
“Where We Go When We Die” is dense and full from its beginning, oozing concern with the noise and thickness of sound. Lyrically, the song pulls back the metaphorical curtain, intent on understanding the workings of this life we’re living. The concern makes way for something more contemplative and this is shared with a lighter and more instrumental focus that feels easy to drift away into.
“Paradise?” vocalist Jacob Charlton sings, while colourful guitar melody and searching bass entwine. It’s a moment of dreamy beauty, coupled with musing on our existence, but in a different way than we began. Harmonies and a tumbling weightlessness offers something serene… before a panic switch is flipped and Thornhill turn up the severity. The video mirrors this change with a shift into darkness instead of the backdrop of a blue sky and clouds.
Probably my favourite thing about this band is their knack for combining the serene and the severe, and the way “Land of the free / I don’t want to leave again” is delivered from all band members captures this brilliantly; thick riffage and a practically drowning otherworldly vocal in amongst it, capped off with intensity from drums and guitar.
That severity turns savage and grows fangs, matching the shift into uneasiness and flames as the girl in the music video tries to find her way to safety. Instrumental alarm and vocal anxiousness come at the listener before sliding again into a contemplative state with clarity and calm voice at the forefront. It’s the peace after “I have something I need to say” that gets me with the goosebumps every time, as well as the arrival of a familiar superhero.
“You speak of a world I knew
Before we lost the air
We all know the lie
You let it die”
This gentle confrontation is the peak of the song for me, coming full circle with observations of life and acknowledging the mortality of ourselves as well as the world we live in. Explaining where he was coming from when “Where We Go When We Die” was penned, Charlton wanted to express how “we try to fast track our lives to get to that ‘paradise’ more than we spend realising that we live in it. It’s more about killing our paradise (Earth) now with hopes of finding another one or just shrugging it off to let future generations solve when it could truly become unsolvable.”
The triumphant last minute is an absolutely beautiful ‘ending’ to the story that we’ve experienced throughout the track’s almost five minute duration. With this newbie song coupled with “Nurture”, The Dark Pool all but promises to be something special and I can’t wait!
The album releases October 25th via UNFD and is pre-orderable here: https://unfd.lnk.to/TheDarkPool. Thornhill will be celebrating the release with Australian shows in November, which you can find more details about via Facebook.