Our Take: Thirdstory’s Soul-Stirring “Searching” EP

Thirdstory (from left to right): Elliott Skinner, Richard Saunders, and Ben Lusher
Thirdstory (from left to right): Elliott Skinner, Richard Saunders, and Ben Lusher

Brandon's Take


Almost a year and a half ago, on a gloomy winter day, three individuals stood on a New York City rooftop to sing their hearts out, forever changing their lives. With unparalleled vocal prowess, awe-inspiring harmonies, and musicality that dates back to vintage soul textures, Elliot Skinner, Richard Saunders, and Ben Lusher made their internet debut as Thirdstory, covering Sam Smith’s pop-soul ballad, “I’m Not the Only One.” The NYC-based trio quickly became the main topic of discussion, as they occupied a space in music that many didn’t even realize needed occupying. Their soulful tinge and impeccable arrangements made you hang on their every word.

Now, as they’ve spent the last year performing intimate shows, recording more stunning covers of pop music’s biggest hits, and recently joining songstress Tori Kelly on her “Unbreakable” tour, Thirdstory have finally debuted original music with the highly anticipated Searching EP (released 5/13/2016 via Verve Music Group). There wasn’t a Twitter account in sight that didn’t scream with bottled up enthusiasm upon reading the words, “No more teasing. Here’s the first song off our EP ‘Searching’ premiering now on Billboard.”

Listen: “G-Train” – Thirdstory

It’s been two years, millions of YouTube views, and plenty of Instagram pictures of recording sessions, but fans can now bask in the glory of original music with Searching. It’s a three-track story about love, heartbreak and growth, all at its sincerest core. It’s deeply introspective and relatable is so many ways, giving way to a male narrative surrounding love that’s often not expressed within music. Rich with Thirdstory’s acclaimed three-part harmonies, soulful splendor and vocal conviction that oozes emotion; Searching is an indie-soul masterpiece.

You shouldn’t love me
don’t waste your time
I’m too way fucked up to feel

The EP’s title track “Searching For a Feeling” is folk-leaning and brutally honest, where self-awareness and being emotionally unavailable exclusively meet, despite hopelessly yearning to “feel” love’s capabilities. “I hang you dry, can’t tell you why/ I don’t see myself in your arms/ Girl you won’t get far, with my cold cold heart/ Can’t give you something I can’t find.”

Listen: “Searching for a Feeling” – Thirdstory

G-Train” is a Malay produced (see: Zayn Malik & Frank Ocean), swagged-out mid-tempo offering, in which they metaphorically reference a NYC subway line that displays looking for love as both a daunting and exasperating process, when waiting for love’s accord. The trio sing “get on, or I’m gone forever”!

Recently they expressed to Billboard that “G-Train” was “inspired by our shared experiences living in New York, and all the futility and frustration you feel trying to find love here” and is a “Fleet Foxes meets ‘No Diggity.

Searching then comes together with its most heartfelt track, “Grows Old.” It’s the moment that sums up the trio’s journey through love and reminds us to stay hopeful and trusting in love; a full-circle moment.

I’m starting to feel I’ve found something real
The thought of you fills me with
A warmth I’ve never known
Hold my heart til it grows old

Listen: “Grows Old” – Thirdstory

Overall, Searching is exactly what fans have been waiting for, and is both full and deep in sound. Entirely driven by rhythmic guitar strums, ethereal harmonies that weave through soul-stirring melodies and ambitious percussion arrangements, Searching is simply a musical triumph.  

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Searching – Thirdstory

Searching EP - Thirdstory
Searching EP – Thirdstory
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