The controversially named Teen Suicide recently reemerged with the announcement of their upcoming album, honeybee table at the butterfly feast (Run For Cover Records), due out August 26th, and today the long-running project of enigmatic songwriter Sam Ray has shared another new single, “death wish.”
With honeybee table at the butterfly feast Ray offers some of the most ambitious work of his career. The sixteen song opus toggles between a wide range of sounds as deftly as it tackles difficult existential ideas. On “death wish” these compelling stylistic shifts are all within one song and less than three minutes. The track begins with Ray’s climbing vocal melodies, roomy production, and pounding drums, then twists into ever more cathartic territory before one final pivot into a blissfully atmospheric outro that shimmers around the listener.
Ray delved into the new track, saying:
“This new song ‘death wish’ was one of the first tracks recorded for the record, back in 2019. I recorded the demo of it first, and then Kitty and Jaryk (Micah) helped me flesh it out, with the former ultimately recording vocals for it and the latter recording drums to replace my terrible demo drums. At this point, I also re-recorded the guitars and my vocals as well, leaving only the very basic shell of the song untouched—so it’s kind of like a phoenix in that way, or a building that gets built out of the bones of an older, mostly collapsing building.
It’s a song about someone we hate—really about a couple of people we hate—awful, awful people who’ve done awful, awful things and then rolled around knowingly in the mess they created, like dogs rolling gleefully in their own shit. We sort of pulled together a couple of those people into one, for the song, one new, terrible idea of a person. Some people really are just pure evil. I’d say more but that’s really all there is. Despite that all, we tried to pull back into a less personal place, as is the nature of our band at its best, at least in my eyes. Rather than get into the specifics, into my own feelings or whatever, it all serves as a kind of launchpad for something bigger, broader, and more interesting to us than just vitriol – not that it lacks for it, either musically or lyrically.
At its core, it’s just sort of a pure Teen Suicide track – musically, we started it off by riffing on a new version of ‘the way we were with people and went from there. I came up with the twin guitar lead harmonized tapping part when we were on tour with Thursday, riffing on the aforementioned old ‘my own hell’ era track – and it stuck. That was always ~the~ idea for me, and everything else came naturally after, falling into place fairly quickly. There’s a lot of little buried details in there, too, despite it being a fairly straightforward song, compared to a lot of the record. I think that’s what happens when you have a lot of time to work on and finish something, and that’s really one of the things I love about it most. There’s always a new buried screaming vocal you notice in an odd, otherwise instrumental part, or a new panned harmony, a swirling backwards guitar beneath the rest, a dog barking faraway across the house picked up in a specific mic, and so on.”