Welcome to the “dreamer’s hotel”

New Enter Shikari album guides audience through troubling times

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Tom Pullen

Enter Shikari, a post-hardcore band based in Hertfordshire, England, revamped the electronicore genre with their recent album, “Nothing is True & Everything is Possible.” From local politics in the United Kingdom to gun violence in the United States and global warming, this album encourages listeners to question the media and divulge in the sinister idea that “everything is possible.”

Musical genres are weird: there is a vast list of them, most of which are not as widely known as others. A majority of those genres derive from more commonly known genres. Ones like rock, pop, rap, EDM, and classical are often blended together to form a whole new genre.

[B]lending polar opposite genres together does not seem like the best move, but sometimes the product may surprise you.”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

In hindsight, blending polar opposite genres together does not seem like the best move, but sometimes the product may surprise you. Rock and EDM, for example, sound like they should not go together.

In most scenarios, the two genres do not go together very well — there is always a little too much of one genre that takes over the whole song. When the strange mix does go well, however, it falls into the “electronicore” genre.

Electronicore is a strange marvel that occurs when rock and EDM sleekly mingle together, creating high-energy songs with catchy basslines. Most artists that try to achieve that perfect electronicore sound, to simply put it, fail miserably. 

The genre is thought to have been established by Enter Shikari, a UK-based post-hardcore band. The band authenticated the electronicore sound in the late 2000s following the release of their 2007 debut album, “Take to the Skies.” 

The album is composed of 15 songs that tell a story of the impending existential dread plaguing society.”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

On April 17, Enter Shikari released their sixth studio album, “Nothing is True & Everything is Possible.” The album is composed of 15 songs that tell a story of the impending existential dread plaguing society.

Going into this album, I did not know what to expect. Sure, I had heard of Enter Shikari and I had a vague idea of what kind of music they produced, but I did not know what exactly their sound was. Needless to say, upon my first listen of “Nothing is True & Everything is Possible,” I was rendered speechless.

Music rarely leaves me speechless, but I think the combined factor of Enter Shikari’s powerful lyrics mixed with the fresh electronicore sound is what did a number on me. The choice of instrumentals and electronic editing adds strength and emotion to the overall song, which is my favorite thing about any Enter Shikari song.

“Nothing is True & Everything is Possible” is, as described by the band’s frontman, Rou Reynolds, the most definitive Enter Shikari album to date. The album is a follow-up release to the band’s 2017 album “The Spark,” and includes elements from each Enter Shikari album thus far.

The album has the classic electronicore sound the band is known for, but Enter Shikari also manages to throw in some classical elements to a few songs. I know it sounds absurd. Who throws classical music into an electronicore song? Wouldn’t that make everything overwhelming? Surprisingly, the instrumentals balance out and evenly blend together.

With the “everything is possible” mentality, the darker topics discussed in the album make more sense.”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

Most songs on the album are pure electronicore — some are more EDM, and others are more rock. The song “Elegy For Extinction” is purely a classical piece that acts as a nice refresher on the otherwise intense album. 

“Nothing is True & Everything is Possible” has a darker meaning than most might think.

In an interview with Kerrang! magazine, Rou Reynolds describes the difference between the phrase “anything is possible” and “everything is possible,” “‘Anything’ implies choice, but ‘Everything’ is more daunting because it takes the focus away from your choice.” 

With the “everything is possible” mentality, the darker topics discussed in the album make more sense.

After three full listens of the album and tedious intense decision making, I have narrowed my top three songs down to “{The Dreamer’s Hotel},” “Waltzing Off the Face of the Earth,” and “satellites**.”

I was intrigued as soon as I heard “{The Dreamer’s Hotel}.” The instrumentals at the beginning of the song are fast-paced and intense and match well with the almost shouted lyrics that remind me of Rage Against the Machine.

What really drew me into this song was the message the lyrics convey. Each verse is full of what can only be described as rage with talk about this dog-eat-dog world and how people are constantly pitted against one another.

Paired with the urging sound of Reynolds’ voice, the song can be described as a plea for humanity to change their ways. ”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

The chorus refers to a place referred to as the “dreamer’s hotel,” which is a place where people go to forget all of the hostility in their lives. In the chorus, the line “five stars but all rooms are vacant” is repeated, showing that people are beginning to give in to the hostility rather than finding sanctuary.

“{The Dreamer’s Hotel}” is applicable to day-to-day life given the current state of the world. Many people are taught from a young age that they have to strive to be the best at what they do, and while that can be considered positive re-enforcement, it often develops into a superiority complex that challenges others. 

“{The Dreamer’s Hotel}” shines a light on the constant competition between peers and calls out the pure, unfiltered rage that has been instilled upon society from such a young age.

From my very first listen, “Waltzing Off the Face of the Earth” has been my favorite song off of the album. It is such an emotion-heavy song. The lyrics are jam-packed with global issues, and the raw emotion in singer Rou Reynolds’ voice is incredibly powerful.

The instrumentals of the song only add to the overall power provided by the lyrics. It has that classical symphony sound to it, but there is something dark and intense about the instruments. Paired with the urging sound of Reynolds’ voice, the song can be described as a plea for humanity to change their ways. 

Lyrically, this song is a lot to unpack. It starts with the singer telling the listeners to forget everything they thought was real, which can allude to the way some media sources tend to spread “fake news.” 

The song has a satirical sound to it with lyrics like “the earth isn’t sphere,” and “climate change is fake.” Those lyrics poke fun at various people in society, more specifically the self-proclaimed Flat-Earthers and numerous global leaders that try to push away the thought of global warming.

Alongside issues regarding the ignorant public, the lyrics also dive into other major issues plaguing society. Issues like the numerous mass shootings in America, the families trying to flee violence in the Middle East, and the idea that a person has to be rich and famous to truly matter in the world.

The song even goes as far as saying “from pig to man, from man to pig,” an allusion to George Orwell’s classic “Animal Farm,” indirectly describing our global leaders as corrupt.

“Waltzing Off the Face of the Earth” is one of the most influential songs I have heard in quite some time. I truly believe it is a song that every person needs to listen to so they can understand just how numb society has grown toward global conflicts.

“satellites**” is a beautiful song with an even more beautiful message. The lyrics of the song use astrological metaphors and compare satellites passing in the night sky to the LGBTQ+ youth and how society shuns them for who they love.

This song is for anyone who has been told who they can and cannot love.”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

It is a more upbeat song compared to the rest of the album. The soft instrumentals paired with the emotional-yet-sweet lyrics add to the overall effect of the song. The narrator sings about no longer wanting to hide and wishing to be able to love whomever they want without the backlash of society. 

The lyrics speak the fears of the LGBTQ+ community, the fear of being wrongfully outed, the fear of society trying to keep them apart from who they love, the fear of no one accepting them for who they are. But despite the fears, the narrator sings about loving whomever they want because they no longer want to hide who they are.

In the bridge of the song, Reynolds sings about the idiocy of the court trying to decide if gay marriage should be legal or not. Reynolds also sings the line “Now online they discuss:/ Whether I exist,” which refers to the constant slander the LGBTQ+ community faces on social media.

“satellites**” can be an empowering anthem to anyone struggling with society’s acceptance. This song is for anyone who has been told who they can and cannot love. “satellites**” tells listeners that it is okay to love whomever you want and that you should not be ashamed of it, despite what society may try to tell you. 

Enter Shikari has been around for 17 years, and in that time, they have managed to put out album after album that brings countless societal issues to light. The current issues discussed in “Nothing is True & Everything is Possible” show the true threats to society, rather than the “fake news” spread by the media.