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Blending atmospheric electronic textures with dark alternative rock, PVRIS evolved from a post-hardcore underground favorite to a pop-savvy international headliner within a decade. Helmed by singer/songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and LGBTQ+ icon Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, the project (pronounced “Paris”) made its 2014 debut with White Noise, an alternative chart hit in the U.S. and U.K. Three years later, PVRIS returned with the pulsing sophomore effort All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell. At the turn of the decade, the band’s sound had matured into an urgent, melodic hybrid of beat-driven synth rock, which could be heard on their third set, Use Me. At this time, Gunnulfsen revealed that she had been the main architect behind PVRIS all along, handling songwriting, production, and instrumentation from the start. She returned in 2023 with the empowering fourth LP Evergreen.
Formed in 2012 in Lowell, Massachusetts, the group’s earliest incarnation was as a local metalcore outfit before vocalist Gunnulfsen branched off to start PVRIS with the help of bassist Brian MacDonald, drummer Brad Griffin, and guitarist Alex Babinski. At this initial stage, the project echoed contemporaries such as Tonight Alive, Against the Current, and Paramore, a sound heard on the self-titled debut EP released in early 2013. Meanwhile, Gunn and her bandmates built a devoted following as a live act with summer dates on the Vans Warped Tour and the Rise Up Tour with Skylit Drive, Wolves at the Gate, and For All Those Sleeping. In late 2013, Griffin parted ways with the group, leaving a core trio led by Gunn. Teaming up with producer Blake Harnage (Versa), they entered the studio to work on their first official album.
In June 2014, PVRIS announced that they had signed with Rise Records, becoming the first female-fronted act on the famed metalcore label’s roster. Their debut LP, White Noise, arrived in November of that year. Peaking within the Top Ten on the U.S. Alternative chart, the album was also a hit in the U.K. After a year of consistent touring, PVRIS announced their first headlining trek, which coincided with the re-release of White Noise, featuring the previously unreleased single “You and I.” In 2017, they joined Muse and Thirty Seconds to Mars on the road, just before the release of their sophomore set, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell. The album featured the singles “Heaven” and “What’s Wrong.” A remix by Marian Hill of the album track “Same Soul” appeared in 2018 featuring singer Jaymes Young.
In 2019, Gunnulfsen returned with a new label (Warner) and a new sound heard on the single “Death of Me,” a pulsing synth-washed dance tune co-written with Joywave’s Daniel Armbruster. Another electronic-influenced track, the Marshmello-assisted “Hallucinations,” followed a month later. Both songs were included on the five-track Hallucinations, a stopgap EP issued to sate fans before the next release cycle. While awaiting that album, Gunnulfsen shared the singles “Dead Weight” and “Gimme a Minute,” which pushed the project even further into electronic territory. After months of waiting and delays, the cathartic Use Me finally arrived that August. Collaborating with JT Daly (K.Flay), Gunnulfsen dove deep for the LP, touching upon everything from relationship woes to her struggles with autoimmune disease. The week of the album’s release, it was announced that Babinski had parted ways with the project.
Over the next few years, Gunnulfsen collaborated with the likes of morgxn, Kat Cunning, Joywave, Rezz, HOKO, TWIN XL, Miyavi, Bad Suns, and more. She also released the stand-alone PVRIS single “Monster.” In 2022, she issued the tracks “Anywhere But Here” and “Animal,” which were accompanied by a short film directed by friend and tourmate Jax Anderson. In addition to 2023′s rousing anthem “Goddess,” they were the first tastes of the next PVRIS era, which arrived that July in the form of Evergreen. Centered on themes of empowerment, the album further refined the project’s melodic, alt-rock hybrid sound, as heard on songs such as the Mike Shinoda-assisted “Take My Nirvana.” ~ Neil Z. Yeung