Editors’ Notes Polaris knew that writing their second album would be tough—and not only because their 2017 debut The Mortal Coil was far more successful than they’d expected. “It was the most challenging period we've been through as a band in terms of testing ourselves, our relationships, our ability to cope with pressure,” says drummer and primary songwriter Daniel Furnari. “But we came out the other side of it.” The Sydney band has quickly risen in the ranks of Australia's metal scene, and they’re fully aware of the power—and stress—that accompanies such a position. Furnari describes The Death of Me, an album that stretches far beyond the typical scope of metalcore, to Apple Music as “an exploration of the self and the difficulty of surviving in this weird human experience that we're all going through. How do you maintain a sense of identity when the world is constantly trying to shape you into something?” Below, he delves into the stories behind each track on The Death of Me.

Pray for Rain
“The song establishes the idea that we all begin our lives with an innate sense of hope and a positive attitude. But the more we’re exposed to the world, we get drained. And the more we discover pain and hardship and loss and all the things that make up our human experience, it's really difficult to refill that source. The things we seek out to give us strength can actually damage us, and vice versa. We seek comfort in things to help us get through our days, but ultimately it's not enough.”

Hypermania
“It’s about the fear of losing your mind, almost like a paranoia about paranoia. Constantly questioning if you’re starting to lose control of your mental stability, constantly feeling like you're on the edge of some kind of emotional outburst. It reflects the state of mind we were in at that point [of writing the album] with the stress we'd started to put ourselves under.”

Masochist
“I tend to put a lot of metaphor in my lyrics, and leave it open to interpretation. But these [lyrics] aren’t cryptic. Looking at the opening lines—‘Am I addicted to the misery/Is this how I'll always be?’—on paper kind of made me go, ‘Damn. That's a heavy question to ask.’ Although it made me feel uncomfortable when I wrote it, it felt honest. It’s an important question to ask. This is about reaching that low point, but it’s also an acknowledgment of the fact that you have to be aware of what you're doing to yourself emotionally. You have to be aware of how you talk to yourself. You have to be aware of the way you're treating yourself inside.”

Landmine
“It’s definitely one of the heaviest tracks we've done. We seek out contrast in our music, and it was a deliberate move to put this straight after ‘Masochist’ to make sure people don't get too comfortable. It’s about getting to that point in life where you have to grow up and stop acting like a teenager. You realize you're not as special as you thought you were, you're not the main character in everybody’s book. And once you’re an adult, you're free to fuck up your own life if you want to. No one's going to pick you up, no one's going to point you in the right direction every time you fail, no one's going to reward you just for trying. It can be disheartening and illusion-shattering, but it forces you to make changes. You’re saying, ’The world doesn't give a fuck about us anymore. And that's okay. What do we do from here?’”

Vagabond
“It’s partly about touring, and how constantly being on the move can wear you down. It can feel lonely, despite the fact that we're all together. But you can learn to find comfort in new places, you can find solace in the people around you. It’s also about learning to be okay with being an outsider. It's a celebration of being different and of standing apart from other people. Being okay with who you are and your identity and what makes you unique.”

Creatures of Habit
“We had to acknowledge the conflict within our unit. When you're doing something creative and you're really passionate about it, it can push people to the edge and really test your relationships. I was trying to put myself in the minds of the other guys in my band, and imagine what they wanted to say to me. It was a bit weird and uncomfortable to write, but when I showed the other guys, they said, ‘Yeah, this is how we've been feeling.’”

Above My Head
“We knew that in making this record, we were putting ourselves into a situation where we would all be tested emotionally. We know making a record pushes us, it can put us in a fragile state of mind. The opening line—‘I have these dreams where I'm losing all my teeth/Where the walls begin to cave in and bury me beneath’—came from a conversation I had with Ryan [Siew, guitarist]. He was repeatedly having these dreams about losing teeth. I think it's quite a common dream that reflects a fear of losing people close to you, who care about you.”

Martyr (Waves)
“There’s two angles to [the song]. One is about this need to occupy different roles in your life for the people around you. To be a good family member. A good son to your parents. A good partner. In our case, trying to be good artists. It can be so exhausting. The other one is about how I view my role as a lyricist. When people start telling you that what you’ve expressed in your music means something to them on a personal level, or has affected them in some way, I’ve realized it comes with a weight. The beautiful thing about music is that people can interpret it however they want. But what if people take what I'm saying completely the wrong way? What if it becomes negative? It's something I'm constantly aware of—there's pressure to put into words what other people can't express, and it's no longer just about yourself. You create a connection that cannot be taken back. It can get a little scary when you realize the power that music has, and sometimes, honestly, it gets too much.”

All of This Is Fleeting
“The studio house [where we recorded the album] is on the edge of this huge cliff, looking over the ocean. It was really cold and gloomy; I was watching the rain hit the waves and just disappear. Suddenly it doesn't exist anymore. It was a weird, funny little metaphor about the insignificance of what we were doing. Art or music might stay around for years, but it will eventually fade and be forgotten. We feel like we have a little opportunity to create something permanent or immortal, but it's not really true. Nothing that we do really is permanent.”

The Descent
“It’s the end of the story. If you take the theme of ‘Pray for Rain’ through the whole album, we’re looking at the result of having that life force constantly stretched away from you. I feel like all the songs on the record draw from that well. What happens if you're not able to replenish it? Where do you end up? I drew from some stories we shared among ourselves in the band, and from friends, about traumatic events in their lives, and made a fictionalized version of these stories. The narrative begins with someone waking up in hospital from a kind of apocalyptic nightmare, in the aftermath of a traumatic event. The narrator goes through a mental journey, constantly being pushed and pulled by forces of light and dark within himself. It’s by no means a happy place to end it, but that wasn't the kind of record we ever set out to create.”

SONG
Pray for Rain
1
4:44
 
Hypermania
2
2:41
 
Masochist
3
4:07
 
Landmine
4
3:48
 
Vagabond
5
4:16
 
Creatures of Habit
6
4:20
 
Above My Head
7
4:41
 
Martyr (Waves)
8
3:50
 
All of This Is Fleeting
9
3:56
 
The Descent
10
5:17
 

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