Music Review—an eeriness to everything

Album: an eeriness to everything

Alt-Rock duo OBSERVE THE 93RD have released their new album, an eeriness to everything. The album is available for streaming anywhere you get your music.

Hailing from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, the band is comprised of vocalist and guitarist, Derek Henry, and drummer, Dylan Zepp. According to the duo, the band’s songs are guided by a feeling, an idea, or an experience. Failure, triumph, suffering, joy—any abstract internal entity that yearns to be externalized.

Of the album, Henry says, “‘an eeriness to everything’ is a title that came to me one morning in the middle of the pandemic. All of our routines and distractions were temporarily dissolved and a broader perspective displaying how strange reality itself is became more clear and potent than usual. This is one of the main themes of the album. It appears most notably on the song ‘awareness of death’, in which I talk about how we all participate in this “masquerade of normalcy”, when existence is really very abstract and mysterious. Other main themes on the album are trauma, unhealthy means of coping, depression, and longing. But, there’s always a backdrop of hope behind these dark cathartic expressions, probably most evident in a song title like ‘You Are Not Alone’. Sometimes that’s all it takes to trudge forward, to know you are not alone in your struggles. That’s often what I look for when listening to music myself, and certainly a comfort we hope we can give to someone else who may need it when releasing our own music into the world.”

An Eeriness To Everything consists of 14 tracks: An Eeriness To Everything; Dopamine; Trl; Night Raid; Mantra; The Simulation; Archaic; Now Forever; Old School Summer; Where the Ocean Sleeps; Awareness of Death; You Are Not Alone; Begin; and Go Ahead.

Several of the songs, including “Old School Summer” and “Dopamine” have music videos on YouTube.

It’s difficult to pin down the sound of Observe The 93rd because the songs on this album are all very different. The opening title track, “An Eeriness To Everything” is a minute-long instrumental that sounds like it’s straight out of the Stranger Things soundtrack—eerie, haunting, and powerful. “You Are Not Alone” and “Night Raid” are closer to heavy metal than anything, while “Trl” and “Old School Summer” are pop-punk. Meanwhile, “Go Ahead” is a techy, electronic ballad. What remains consistent, however, is Dereck Henry’s unique and powerful voice. He reminds me of Serj Tankian from System of A Down or Michael Poulsen from Volbeat. Furthermore, throughout the album, the lyrics are well thought out—fun, introspective, critical, or nostalgia-inducing depending on the track.

I found this album particularly interesting after completing the AU course PSYC356: Introduction to Personality Theories. One of the units of the course discussed the psychologist Rollo May and his ideas regarding the concept of existential psychology. Terror management theory is some of the more recent research that has come from May’s work—this theory states that human beings are plagued by the existential terror of our impending death, and that we use anxiety-buffers, such as the promise of literal or symbolic immortality (i.e., religion), to impart a sense that we are a person of value living in a meaningful world. This worldview mitigates our existential terror and allows us to live our lives.

The songs “Awareness of Death” and “The Simulation” really speak to terror management theory and existentialism, with lyrics like, “It’s a beautiful masquerade of normalcy […] In the back of my mind at all times resides the awareness of death.” Thought-provoking stuff.

Overall, I really enjoyed an eeriness to everything.

Check out OBSERVE THE 93RD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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