For two weeks The Amity Affliction’s website domain name had been changed to lettheoceantakeme.com with a countdown and a short teaser video about what was presumed to be the band’s next record. This definitely excited the band’s fans as their last record Chasing Ghosts was released in 2012. Many had been awaiting the release of a new record for quite some time and I know that at least I was thrilled to hear that they had some new material to check out. Once the clock hit 0:00:00, The Amity Affliction released the video for their newest single, “Pittsburgh”, and announced the release dates for the record which, to no surprise, will be called Let the Ocean Take Me.
“Pittsburgh”, like many of the band’s previous tracks, deals with an anti-suicide message and expresses the struggles of depression or mental illnesses in general. This new track reminds me a lot of the band’s song “R.I.P. Bon” off of Chasing Ghosts as it deals with several of the same topics. The ocean is referenced in both of these tracks and they both deal with suicide and depression. While “R.I.P. Bon” is more about the after-effects of suicide and how the loved ones of the individual handle the situation, “Pittsburgh” deals with a person experiencing suicidal thoughts.
“Pittsburgh” continues to differ from “R.I.P. Bon” in that it ends in a more positive way: “Where I spend every waking moment, wishing I was dead/I’ll take another step for you /I’ll shed my tears until I drown, or until I am underground/ I’ll take another breath for you.” While the lyrics are easy to relate to if one has experienced these thoughts, they’re not my favorite. Not to say that the lyrics don’t have their redeeming aspects. There is a certain beautiful darkness to them, but they tend to get repetitive after a while.
The song is catchy on both a vocal and instrumental level. Clean vocalist Ahren Stringer and unclean vocalist Joel Birch give the song a necessary balance. While Birch’s vocals provide it with the darkness that is touched upon in the lyrics, Stringer’s vocals add a more soothing sound that keeps the track’s content from getting too heavy. The addition of the chorus of girls singing near the end of the song gave me goosebumps when I first heard it. They add a darkness to the song in a beautiful way as all of the intense instrumentals stop at this point, so all that can be heard is a soft-sounding instrument playing in the background. Stringer continues to add to the song as his vocals are placed perfectly with the instrumentals that intensify as he re-enters. His vocals also provide the necessary emotional feel that cannot be accurately expressed through Birch’s screaming alone.
If “Pittsburgh” serves an accurate example of what lies ahead for The Amity Affliction through the release of Let the Ocean Take Me, then I’m definitely excited to hear the rest of the album and I’m sure many longtime fans will feel the same way.