Metallized post hardcore act OUTLIER recently introduced us to their impressive debut album, “Through A Set Of Rose Shaded Eyes“, by premiering 2 new track ‘Undesirable’ and “Skinwalker” (watch the video below). Bridging a blackened post metal vibe with post-hardcore / screamo aesthetics, the crushing new opus closes the gap between their more melodic debut EP “Sleep Patterns” and the new, darkened incarnation and more devilish, painful and mature appearance that’s both emotionally enrapturing and conceptually interesting. We’re truly stoked to give you the first listen of the whole thing, along with a full track by track commentary, revealing some of the insider notes on its content. Enjoy their smooth transitions back and forth between various moods and influences, and play it below.
“Through A Set Of Rose Shaded Eyes” by OUTLIER is available through by Really Rad Records/Redscare Media disctribution and can be ordered via this location.
Photo by Tyler Watley.
Mecca: Mecca was the first song Outlier wrote as our current lineup. We released a single in late 2015 with this song on it as well as one other that does not appear on this album, but we felt that we needed to revisit the song for the album and fix a few things we thought we could make better. This version is completely re-recorded, and we decided to open the record with it as a way of coming out of the gate strong.
At the time of writing Mecca, I was having an existential crisis about what I was going to do with my life, which is were the ending conversation with myself came from.
Skinwalker: Skinwalker is the second track on the album. I wrote the lyrics for this song on tour after a string of one night stands that I walked away from feeling less than stellar about, to put it lightly, and I consider it to be somewhat of a hate letter to sex/hookup culture. I refer to a figure as “Enchantment” early in the song because I felt that that was an accurate term to describe the initial infatuation that comes with seeing someone attractive. For the remainder of the verse, I refer to the same figure as “it” in an effort to reflect the mindset that I was in during that time.
The rest of the song is pretty self-explanitory.
Dove Pan: This song, Birdland, and The Jewel all share a timeline in that the events that inspired these songs (with the exception of the end of Dove Pan) all occured on the same day.
The first half of the song takes place immediately after a conversation I had with a former romantic interest that ended when I was told that she no longer wanted to speak to me, and the final stanza is set equally between my front porch several months after the events of the first half of the song, and a flashback of me in my car earlier in the summer after I had decided on my emotional state regarding this girl, but not wanting to tell her how I felt for fear of how she would respond.
Birdland: Birdland was the last song that I wrote for this album. In the series of events chronicled between Dove Pan, Birdland, and The Jewel, this song’s focus falls in the middle of that day. As I drove away from where I’d met with the girl who told me she wanted to cease contact with me, I stopped at a cliff overlooking the ocean just up the coast along Highway 1 to collect myself and have a moment of serenity in what was an otherwise stressful day. One of our first dates together had been to a beach in Santa Cruz, California with some cliffs that stood just before the ocean, providing an incredible view. But the irony of this didn’t dawn on me until a few months later when it came time for me to finish writing the track.
The Jewel: The final track in this trilogy of songs with corresponding timelines is the one that reflects on the beginning of that day’s events.
I had to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in mid morning traffic in the middle of the summer, so I had more than enough time to sit and think about what I was going to say to this girl once I had an audience with her. Part of me knew the conversation wouldn’t end well, but I was overwhelmingly set on seeing this girl and telling her how I felt about her with no concern for what she might have to say in return.
I refused to see the situation with any sense of realism. I was blinded by my own infatuation, which is partially where the line/album title Through A Set Of Rose Shaded Eyes comes from, additionally inspired by the reddish pink tinted sunglasses I was wearing that day.
Undesirable: Undesirable stands out to me on this record because I had the lyrics written long before the instrumental even existed.
Mid Spring of 2016, I was recently single after a terrible two year relationship and making an attempt to jump back into dating. There was a span of 4 months or so leading up to this point where I’d been on a few dates with different girls that had all said in different ways that I wasn’t what they were looking for, which kind of ruined my self esteem for a while.
I wrote the lyrics entirely at once after waking up in the late afternoon in the middle of this period of time.
Eclipse: The final song on the album, the longest, and simultaneously the song with the lowest word count (not counting interludes). Eclipse was written pretty early in the writing stage, I want to say third or fourth. Lyrically, I wanted to keep this song conscise, but still give it the punch that a closing track needs to have.
The lyrics for this song are not to be explained, they are to be interpreted as the reader sees fit to interpret them.
“Channelling a caustic blend of classic screamo and modern black metal, Californian natives, Outlier, are raw, visceral, and aggressive.” – Punktastic (2017)