The difference between existing and living takes shape under the cover of individual experience, in all its imperfections and diversity. For post-hardcore band HONORÉ, this subjective unknown is where humanity can be expressed in lyrics, where pain can be captured in melody, and passion in harmony, and where purpose can be set to rhythm. Taking the abstract fragments of being human and rearranging them into a mosaic of time and mystery, this six-piece is back with their latest single, “Watching the Earth Breathe.” Today, we’re giving you a special line-by-line breakdown of the track, brought to you by the band themselves!
With its experimental arrangement, extreme musical range, and explosive energy, the single balances rhythms and textures that are both rooted in hardcore and infused with alternative metal. Soaring melodies drop deep into guttural screams, while the musical backdrop spans just as wide. From start to finish, “Watching the Earth Breathe” boasts a myriad of skills, all packaged in a raw, but poignant delivery.
“Initially conceptualizing the song, the band sat down and discussed time as a force and as a perceived measurement that gains and loses mystery in our lives,” says vocalist Craig Shumway. “Time ‘heals all wounds’ even as it pulls all life through the beautiful decay, and we are happy to be and to take our listeners along for the ride.”
Since the band’s start in 2018, Honoré has pushed the boundaries of genre and content with creativity and fervor, and their latest release is no exception. “Watching the Earth Breathe” is the second single off the band’s upcoming LP, The Human Experience, set to release June 25, and is now available everywhere.
Father Time does his thing, weaving the beautiful decay.
He makes all the seasons change,
Watching Mother Earth breathe as she sleeps
“I wanted to expand on the personification of Father Time, sort of working, tangling, and untangling. All the while – sort of paint a picture for the listener of Earth’s changing of the seasons as an inhale and exhale of breath.” – Craig Shumway
And then I heard him hum and sing
Several ancient melodies
That conjure memories from me
As his eyes both beg and plea,
“Save some salvation for me
And for your mother, please.
“I would go ahead and say the listener could derive their own subjective take on this part, which is the case for many Honoré lyrics, but I think I was mainly continuing on with the storytelling I began in the first part of the verse. I also aimed to touch on music and memory being married to one another while introducing the plea for salvation which is thematic and increasingly urgent thanks to Lane’s added dynamics in this single.” – Craig Shumway
We have always been bodies wrapped in skin.
One day this life will end but until then are we meant to suffer.
Everything I’ll ever love will die.
Everything I’ll ever touch will fade.
Found ikigai inside her smile but even that could one day change.
Shrouded in mortality,
I’m not the king of anything, save some salvation for me.
“To me this part is about the fleeting nature of humanity and our coming to terms with it. I wrote this piece so people wouldn’t have to feel alone in facing their mortality.” – Lane Grant
Like fungi, we race to decompose the dead matter.
Take me through to the days when I’ll think that my days matter.
Like fungi we race to decompose the dead matter.
Take me through.
“This part was a personal observation of breaking down and through the dead parts of myself, and alluding it to something, literally, very down to earth. It is also the prayer to persevere on – to better days and times that I had faith were on the horizon.” – Craig Shumway
Then my time gets lost on me.
Break down to carbon and feeling.
The soul begins to crack and quake,
And all my colors spill from me
While Father Time, he does his thing.
“Another piece of subjective ingestion for the listeners and readers, but more or less the essence of this part was a description of what I felt like dying may be like.” – Craig Shumway
Save some salvation for me.
“We wanted to bring this back around as it is the thesis for the song. Having conscious access to the truth that death is a certainty for the living is intrinsic to the longing of our human souls to be saved from it. I believe that salvation is attainable if you are seeking it, seeking the truth genuinely. For me, the devastating pain and anguish that comes from human death is deep-rooted within a place of love. The place love is found is like a spring within each human soul, and it’s the key to everything.” – Craig Shumway
Honoré is a creative organism, an expression, and an outlet of music and lyrics embodied by six humans.
Formed in 2018, the Memphis-based collective finds its roots back in high school, woven together by the shared love of the harsh vocal styles found in emo, hardcore, alternative, and metal music. Friendship evolved into creative partnership, where they began forging sounds, poetry, and songs from the raw material of life that they missed and needed from the world.
With a fresh and original take on a mid-2000’s nostalgic sound, Honoré is at pace to deliver as a heavyweight outfit in the freshman class of a niche genre.
“Forge One Better”, the entrancing first single off of the record, showcases the band’s dive into escapism with their instrumentation enveloping around and over one another as vocalists Craig Shumway and Lane Grant alley-oop between thoughtful soaring melodies and emotionally-charged manic scream vocals. Lyrically, the track centers itself around the reflection of living as a human being torn apart inside of self-realization and epiphany. On writing “Forge One Better”, vocalist Craig Shumway states “In the times when Forge One Better was being forged, I became fascinated that most people go through some form of existential or identity crisis at one point or another. Am I a being? Am I a soul? A simulation? What is this all about? What are all these feelings, wishes, thoughts, and experiences about? We wanted to tap into those human curiosities in a musical way with this track, and we hope we delivered that in one way or another.”
Honoré’s The Human Experience includes songs that are new but nostalgic and as a whole span a broader musical soundscape than what the band felt like they had with their 5 song debut EP Ursus.
The band was formed in 2018 by Craig Shumway, Trey Mullins, and Lane Grant. They had attended high school together in Highland, AR and shared a love for writing and performing original music, as well as a particular interest and palette for genres of music that embraced a “sing/scream” vocal style such as post hardcore, emo, hardcore, alternative, and metal music. Their joint friendship quickly ventured into creating sounds, poetry, and songs that they missed and needed from the world. Developing their craft brought on the realization that they had tapped into a sector in the music industry that they could be authentic in identity and song; and an ensemble was needed to assist in playing and writing new material. After laying root in Jonesboro, AR, the three sought the recruitment of Trey’s cousin Landen Terry as co-guitarist, Zac Nagy on bass guitar, and Alex Washam to play drums. With a fresh and original take on a mid-2000’s nostalgic sound, Honoré is at pace to deliver as a heavyweight outfit in the freshman class of a niche genre. The six-piece group meets and practices in Memphis, TN, and claims the town as their home city.
The lyrical content is intended to be honest, artful, and open to interpretation. With high alto-ranged singing along with strong mid-ranged clean vocals, catchy melodies & harmonies, clear and concise scream vocals, and not-so but sometimes sobering lyrics; Craig Shumway and Lane Grant pack a one-two punch to remember. The creation of the musical canvases crafted for the duo to write their vocals over is attributed to Trey Mullins; who has written, arranged, and composed nearly all of the music for all of the instruments used and recorded. The music is largely inspired by but not limited to The Used, Underoath, afi, Taking Back Sunday, Hawthorne Heights, Chiodos, The Beatles, Silverstein, and Nirvana. This music is then, learned, added onto, and enhanced with the personalities of Terry, Nagy, and Washam.
The original music from Honoré is natural and purposeful; intended to give its listener the gift of a new experience and, if successful, a new perspective. Perhaps to inspire one to question, imagine, create, love, and find purpose and identity instead of inspiring one to harm, consume, divide, and/or conform.