RIYL: HAIM, Fleetwood Mac, MS MR, Alvvays
In Greek mythology, Anteros is the god of requited love and the avenger of unrequited love, born to Ares (god of war) and Aphrodite (goddess of love). The name literally translates to “love returned” or “counter-love,” a powerful emotional construct that speaks volumes to the importance of passion, recognition, and reciprocation in the canon of the human race. How fitting, it then seems, that a band named Anteros would write a song about unrequited love through the eyes of a lover.
“Fade To Grey,” premiered today (July 15) via Clash Music, is the second track to be released by London-based Anteros in advance of the band’s debut EP (TBD via Regal Records). Through passionate lyrics and a lively indie/alt-pop beat, Anteros capture the innocence, ecstasy and ignorance of falling in love, as well as the temporality, fragility and emptiness of unrequited love.
Pretty girl, lips so soft
She holds you with every breath
She blows your way
Hopeful stares turn into restless glares
When she fiddles with her hair
She knows your game
All you see are green meadows in her eyes tonight
But when you turn the lights on
The colors start to change
The music don’t sound the same
You fade to grey
Listen: “Fade to Grey” – Anteros
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This is a song that tells a story. Upon first listen, the most striking elements about “Fade To Grey” are its vivid lyrical imagery, its rhythmic, sinusoidal vocal line, and its dynamic-yet-subdued chorus. Anteros champion a synthesis of music and lyrics that evokes the song’s literal and emotional weight. Vocalist Laura Hayden’s lilt is enchanting: She sings softly in the verse, introducing the qualities that make “pretty girl” the subject of our protagonist’s fancy. The up-and-down hypnotic nature of her bare vocals emphasizes those ‘bewitching’ traits, which receive further spotlight as a result of the song’s minimalistic surrounding instrumentation.
Everything is in sync. As the music grows, the lyrics gain depth and additional perspective. Hayden’s voice is pure and her jumps are graceful, fueled by emotion. The build-up of passion and infatuation meets its pinnacle at the chorus, where the one-sidedness of that love is unveiled and acknowledged. “Turn the lights on” signals that awakening process of realization; “the colors start to change / the music don’t sound the same” notices a palpable difference, whether in interaction, tone or demeanor; and ultimately, “you fade to grey,” a reference to the “green meadows in her eyes” – a symbol of love in this story – heralds the dissipation of romance.
What sort of loss is it? Anteros leave a little digging to the listeners with the song’s semi-ambiguous chorus. It seems apparent that the “pretty girl” is not in love with the protagonist: This much is clear. But “you fade to grey” may be a reference not to the shattered realization of unrequited love, but actually to the protagonist’s shattered love for the “pretty girl” once he realizes the lack of anteros – or “love returned.” Per this interpretation, multiple levels of love end up withering: The girl’s perceived love for the protagonist, the protagonist’s passionate love for the “pretty girl,” and the love they shared.
It’s a shame
But pretty’s not the one to blame
She just wants to play
All you see are green meadows in her eyes tonight
All you fear is lost in a forest of her mind
When you’re in love, but do not receive love in return, do you continue to love? How are our feelings and emotions affected by reciprocation? Do Anteros intend for listeners to dig this philosophically into their songwriting? Is this all just wordplay around the concept of “anteros”?
Whatever their intention, Laura Hayden and Josh Rumble – Anteros’ other half – have created something magical with “Fade To Grey.” Their songwriting prowess is evident, and their use of space and ambience within their alternative, “indie-pop” sound is admirable. They make skillful, humble use of dynamics, pushing the volume fader without being bombastic, and the result is a colorful, catchy and meaningful pop song.
Check out Anteros’ “Fade To Grey” below, and expect many more good things from this exciting newcomer shortly!
You can learn about Anteros’ journey via the below excerpt, taken from Laura Hayden’s personal site.
:: More about Anteros ::
…and so it begins.
I’ve had to keep quiet about this for the last 6 months, and can’t quite believe that I’m finally allowed to show you what I’ve been working on.
My heart, my wish, my dreams- my band- Anteros.
When I moved to London & started songwriting almost 3 years ago, I was convinced that there was some kind of formula behind it. There had to be. Those who know me know that I am an extremely inpatient person. Getting used to the process wasn’t easy, and I was scared to leave everything behind in the process.
The truth is, there is no formula. You just have to keep writing until it feels right. It takes soul searching, evolving, and growing up. You need to know who you are before you can make sense of it. It has been the scariest, most exciting adventure I have ever embarked on.
We are releasing our first single this Wednesday, with a video to follow, as well as a digital EP dropping in September. Click here to check out our Facebook Page.
I’d like to thank everyone that has been involved in helping us get everything ready to release. Firstly, my partner in crime and the other half of Anteros, Josh Rumble. Our wonderful managers at Prolifica; Mr Jordan Fish, Rick Moreno & James Flannigan, who were both there from day 1; my Uno family in Spain, my London family Storm… and family & friends- thank you for picking me up when I feel like I’m about to crumble, & for your everlasting patience.
This is only the beginning, and I’m not scared anymore- no matter what happens.
Thank you for reading,