Screenshot via Facebook.

With clasped hands and solemn gazes, the members of famed a cappella group Pentatonix silently comforted vocalist Avi Kaplan as he announced, in a video posted to Facebook today, that he would be taking a step back from the group. “This decision... has been one of the toughest decisions to make in my entire life,” Kaplan said.

“I want you guys to know that these past six years have been the most unbelievable years of my life,” he continued. “All the things that we’ve accomplished, all the music that we’ve made, and the people that we’ve touched with that music...” His voice broke, as the blonde man in the white leather jacket patted his shoulder. “It far surpasses what I could have ever dreamed for my life.”

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Kirstin refused to look at the camera.

Avi explains why he has to go.

Kaplan, who appears to have delivered this message from a rainforest (although everyone is wearing long sleeves?), explained that the grinding pace of the Pentatonix lifestyle was difficult, as it kept him from friends, family, and nature. Kaplan will continue to make music, but “I have to do what’s right for my heart, so I hope you guys understand. But I love you—so much.”

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Friends: chin up. Let’s remember the good times.