|Single by The Smashing Pumpkins|
|Released||August 28, 2020|
|The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology|
"Cyr" (working title "Steam") is the first Smashing Pumpkins single from their eleventh studio album, CYR. It and "The Colour of Love" were released as a digital double A-side single on August 28, 2020. A Linda Strawberry-directed music video was also produced for "Cyr".
|“||Cyr is dystopic folly, one soul against the world sort of stuff, set against a backdrop of shifting loyalties and sped up time. To me it stands as both hopeful and dismissive of what is and isn’t possible with faith.||”|
|— Billy Corgan, Rolling Stone, August 2020|
Background and recording[edit | edit source]
"Cyr" was originally had a working title of "Steam" because it reminded Billy Corgan of a steam piston engine. The main riff was written on guitar and was the first riff to come out of the Shiny Vol. 1 sessions from January 2018. This version involved heavy guitar, but Corgan and engineer Howard Willing decided it didn't fit on Shiny Vol. 1. After digging through old ideas for the new CYR album, the song ended up being re-recorded at Pumpkinland II in April-May 2019. This version was entirely produced by Corgan, who attributed the sound of the revamped material to the largely industrial Wax Trax! Records – a label who were influential to The Smashing Pumpkins.
Lyrically, Corgan has said of the song:
|“||address the state of the world, where we're all facing different masters. We're all facing pan global companies that operate outside the sovereignty of nation states. We have tech companies running amok. I'm speaking to you probably on a tech platform, they're running amok, and we're part of the running amok I guess since we're on here. It just kind of points the finger at what we're facing, but it also encourages you to shake your ass. Which is never a bad thing. Unless you don't want to.||”|
|— Billy Corgan, #CyrCyries deep dive|
A teaser of the song appeared on Sumerian Records' Instagram account on August 25, 2020. The caption for the Instagram post read, "this friday is the biggest announcement in sumerian history. stare down your masters. 8/28". Music recognition software prematurely identified the song title as "Cyr". "Cyr" is a French name that comes from the Latin name "Cyricus" and ultimately from the Greek word "kyrios", which is usually translated as "lord" or "master", aligning with the mysterious caption and the lyrics.
Music video[edit | edit source]The music video was directed, edited and colored by creative director Linda Strawberry, and released the same day as the single. It was recorded while the band was in lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic. The video stars burlesque performer and model, Mosh, who also starred in the "Ramona" music video as well as Shiny Vol. 1 vignettes.
|“||This is a goth fever dream of pent up emotion – an artistic visual release attempting to create a momentary escape from the emotional black cloud hanging over all of us this year. A dark seduction filmed in quarantine at a social distance.||”|
|— Linda Strawberry, Rolling Stone, August 2020|
A second video of the band playing the song was premiered on December 1, 2020 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Strawberry again took the lead as editor, piecing together the band member's remote videos into what was is nearly a music video, while giving the first glimpse of what "Cyr" would be performed like live.
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
fragments form the mind
shadows hold the mist
fractured as this wish
shattered i resign
we’re on the verge, we’re on the verge
of sacred dawning and sloe-sloe eyes
say, i done told you
say how i tried, too
where you’ve wrought
from creation’s crown
say, dire warning
stare down your masters
with the promise of
one and what you are
were on the verge
tangents vex the whorl
the void arrives, then leaves
returning a kiss
for lovers built the dream
did the times, wind
did the crowd, kind
aping youth, wise
ever lost, ides
‘midst the chaff, as meek
and those weak, as sand
turning glass upside down
for the hours should they pass
Track listing[edit | edit source]All tracks are written by Billy Corgan.
|2.||"The Colour of Love"||4:23|
Release history[edit | edit source]
|Released||Label||Catalog ID||Format||Country||External sites|
|August 28, 2020||Martha's Music • Sumerian||Digital||Worldwide|||
Critical reception[edit | edit source]
Both songs generally received positive reviews. Consequence of Sound described "Cyr" as "a dance anthem that sounds like Adore meets ABBA", while they described “The Colour of Love” as an "all the midnight anthems within 2000's Machina". They also added that both tracks "hearken back to Billy Corgan's salad days, back when he worshipped The Cure on FM radio".
Personnel[edit | edit source]
The Smashing Pumpkins
- Billy Corgan – vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, production
- James Iha – guitar
- Jeff Schroeder – guitar
- Jimmy Chamberlin – drums
- Katie Cole – background vocals
- Sierra Swan – background vocals
- Linda Strawberry – music video director, music video editor
Chart performance[edit | edit source]
|US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)||19|
|US Rock Digital songs (Billboard)||21|
|US Rock Airplay (Billboard)||35|
- Total plays:
- First performance: Billy Corgan 2020-10-30 Chicago, IL, US
- Last performance: Billy Corgan 2022-11-22 at DTS Soundspace at KROQ, Los Angeles, CA
References[edit | edit source]
- Kreps, Daniel. "Smashing Pumpkins Unleash New Songs 'Cyr,' 'The Colour of Love'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
- Billy Corgan. November 27, 2020 Instagram Q&A
- Billy Corgan. #CyrCyries deep dive of "Cyr"
- "Smashing Pumpkins Return With 'Cyr' and 'The Colour of Love,' Confirm New Album Is Coming". Billboard. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Billy Corgan. October 31, 2020 Instagram Q&A
- "The Smashing Pumpkins Share Two New Songs "Cyr" and "The Colour of Love": Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
- "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Rock Digital songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
- "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2020.