Thirdstory, a NYC-based group consisting of Ben Lusher, Richard Saunders, and Elliott Skinner, released their debut album on March 9th; today marks the album’s one month anniversary! The band had gained tremendous recognition on YouTube, with over 105K subscribers and more than 11 million views of their acoustic covers. Covering artists from Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande to Sam Smith and Drake, Thirdstory is known for their beautifully haunting harmonies and their ability to strip down a song to its emotional core.
Their album, Cold Heart, contains 11 songs, including the acoustic version of “Still in Love” featuring Eryn Allen Kane (which was released as a music video prior to the album’s release), as well as an updated version of the song. This new take on one of Thirdstory’s earlier acoustic songs repurposes it into a pop/R&B crowd pleaser.
The first song on the album, “Searching for a Feeling,” is an ode to searching for the “one.” Sung from the heartbreaker’s point of view, this song showcases how even in a seemingly normal relationship, someone can feel unfulfilled. In the case of many couples, one party is more dependent on the other, and in this case, Thirdstory has the home advantage (“You shouldn’t love me/ Don’t waste your time/ I’m way too fucked up to feel”). As heartbreaking as it is for people to fall out of love with each other, it happens. The theme in this song should resonate with everyone who’s experienced needing more emotionally out of a relationship that seems to be lacking passion (“I’ve been searching for a feeling/ haven’t found it yet/ hope I don’t regret”). When something starts to feel too familiar, we crave something new and exciting; we crave a stimulant, (“Girl you won’t get far/ with my cold cold heart/ can’t give you something I can’t find,”) and everything can seemingly feel inadequate to our past experiences (“tell me you want me, tell me you need me to love you”). But along with all of these ideas comes guilt for the person that is being left (“You shouldn’t tell me/ I make you proud/I don’t deserve any praise”).
From the complete opposite perspective, “Hit the Ceiling” describes being the dependent member of a couple. With lines such as, “What I’d do to fall asleep with you right there/ I’m in love, but you don’t care,” it is clear that someone is expressing their love, but not receiving an enthusiastic response in return. The chorus, “My heart hit the ceiling/ And I can’t do anything…My heart hit the ceiling/ ‘Cause you don’t feel anything,” describes the
“Over (When We Said Goodbye)” is one of my favorite songs on the album. After attending an album-launch concert in the Williamsburg Apple store, a Q + A with the members revealed that this song is based on a real story: the band had visited London, and out of the blue, Lusher’s ex-girlfriend from three years ago invited him out for a drink (“three years is enough to forget… but you called out of the blue, and I’m pulled right back to you”). This song portrays the emotional rollercoaster ride that comes along with falling in love, breaking up, and wondering what could have been. The chorus- “I forgot what you do to me, how I wanted you desperately/ I’ve been Fine, I haven’t had you on my mind/thought it was over when we said goodbye”- shows the suppressed attachments that can linger for years, only to reappear when you think that you’ve completely moved on.
Throughout the album, Thirdstory sings about heartbreaks and new love; their lyrics bring multiple perspectives to a universal topic: love. Hearing Cold Heart is both healing and aspiring, and the songs are relatable. In its essence, Cold Heart is telling us that despite the pain and madness associated with breakups, the ethereal feelings associated with falling and being in love make the suffering worthwhile.