SKULLCRUSHER – ” Quiet The Room “

Posted: October 14, 2022 in MUSIC

The framework for “Quiet the Room” was laid two years ago, when Ballentine wrote and recorded a song of the same name. Unlike most other Skullcrusher songs, it was written on piano, her childhood instrument.  While writing the rest of the album in the summer of 2021, visions of Ballentine’s youth flocked like bats from the attic as she wandered her Los Angeles apartment in the sticky, sweltering heat. The image of a house emerged as she merged the interior world of her songs with the exterior rooms that contained her. She was thinking of her childhood in Mount Vernon, NY, which she calls the biggest inspiration for the record.

“It’s like layers of tracing paper, like someone is trying to make a drawing and you’re seeing the entire process,” Ballentine says of the album’s construction. Looking back through home videos, she became struck by seemingly benign shots captured through the window—her at the piano or walking in the yard. There was a weight that extended beyond the edges of the frame, a darkness hovering just out of view: her parents were fighting, on the road to divorce. The house was failing to contain them all. What she set out to capture on “Quiet the Room” was not the innocence of childhood, as it is so often portrayed, but the intense complexity of it. The result is a stunning and quietly moving work that reflects the journeys we take through the physical and spiritual realms of ourselves in order to show up for the world.

“We wanted every song to have that little twinkle, but also a sense of crumbling,” she says. These songs thrum with moments of anxiety that boil over into moments of peace, as on lead single “Whatever Fits Together,” which chugs to a ragged start before the gears catch and ease. On “It’s Like a Secret,” Ballentine struggles to connect and let people in, recognizing that no one can ever fully know our inner worlds and that to understand each other is to cross a barrier and leave a part of ourselves behind. And yet, on closing track “You are my House,” she finds a way to reach out. “You are the walls and floors of my room,” she sings in perfect, hopeful harmony.

As the album cover invites, these are dollhouse songs to which we bend a giant eye, peering into the laminate, luminous world that Ballentine has created. Like a kid constructing a shelter in a patch of sharp brambles, she reminds us that beauty and terror can exist in the same place. The complexities of childhood are so often overlooked, but through these private yet generous songs, she gives new weight to our earliest memories, widening the frame for us—even opening a window.

Exclusive Pink Glass Translucent Vinyl, Black LP, CD and Limited Edition ‘Quiet The Room’ Tote Bag and Tea Towel now available at the Secretly Store

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