Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Doug Paisley - Starter Home Music Album Review

Gracefully navigating the intersection of folk-rock and country, the gentle-voiced songwriter turns detailed images of domestic tranquility and promise into reflections on disappointment.
For a decade, Canadian singer/songwriter Doug Paisley has turned quiet, specific moments into inquiries on life’s larger struggles. On his 2010 breakthrough, Constant Companion, Paisley used the inevitability of endings to explore understanding oneself, the only possible “constant companion.” For 2014’s Strong Feelings, he mulled death and its uneasy relationship with life, or how their juxtaposition ripples into every wave of existence. And now, on his fourth album, Starter Home, Paisley details the chasm that separates what poet Seamus Heaney described as “getting started” and “getting started again.” These songs examine how the person you are never truly aligns with the person you want to be, especially when you stumble upon a sticking point that’s hard to move past.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Pinegrove - Skylight Music Album Reviews

Completed in 2017 and shelved for almost a year, Pinegrove’s third record is smaller, softer, and closer to the chest.

A year ago, it looked like Pinegrove’s next move would almost certainly cement their status as indie rock heroes. Formed in Montclair, New Jersey in 2010 by friends Evan Stephens Hall and drummer Zack Levine, Pinegrove spent the next six years honing their folky math rock in increasingly packed basements. With their 2016 record, Cardinal, they magnificently captured the everythingness of being alive. It was a small record that did big things, reaching wide swaths of listeners by embracing the sentimentality of emo, the catchiness of power-pop, and the twang of country, creating a universe that felt welcoming and sincere. When size of the crowd at Pinegrove’s early evening set at last year’s Pitchfork Music Festival dramatically eclipsed that of their emo forefathers, American Football, who occupied the same stage later that day, it was clear that a torch had been passed.

But three weeks after the November 2017 release of a glorious and cathartic single, “Intrepid,” everything came to a standstill. As Hall explained in a long, confusing Facebook post, he had been accused of “sexual coercion” by a woman he had been in a relationship with. In accordance with the alleged victim’s wishes, Hall and the band shelved Skylight, canceled their U.S. tour, and disappeared. So did many of their fans, who immediately denounced Pinegrove. Ten months after the Facebook post, in a story detailing the situation, Hall told Pitchfork, “I take consent seriously. All of our encounters were verbally consensual. But, OK, certainly this isn’t from nowhere. If she came away feeling bad about our encounter, feeling like she couldn’t express how she was feeling honestly at the time, that’s a huge problem.” He added, “We are thoroughly in favor of the dismantling of patriarchal structures, and the movement right now to elevate survivors and victims of abuse. And we are not interested in a listenership that doesn’t care about that.” Skylight, their third record, was originally meant to come out on Run for Cover, like Cardinal. The band and label mutually agreed that Pinegrove would self-release Skylight and donate the proceeds to charity.

There is no “right” way to return from such serious allegations; some feel there should be no return at all. It is impossible to ignore the accusations against Hall while listening to Skylight. At times, the album can feel subconsciously remorseful, but this is almost a twisted coincidence. The band insists that Skylight has hardly changed since it was mastered in October 2017, and some songs date back to at least 2015. Skylight opens with “Rings,” an optimistic but cautious declaration of new beginnings and accountability. “I draw a line in my life/Singing, ‘This is the new way I behave now’/And actually live by the shape of that sound,” Hall declares. Though “Rings” quickly continues the self-mythologizing of Cardinal, with references to Pinegrove iconography like ampersands, wings, and geometric shapes, it’s clear that empathy is not so effortless.

Recorded and produced by Hall and guitarist Sam Skinner at a house in upstate New York, Skylight focuses on atmosphere and abstraction. While Cardinal was defined by anthemic eruptions of longing, these 11 songs move patiently and often disregard verse-chorus song structures in favor of loose vignettes. “Paterson & Leo”—which originally appeared as a bonus track on Cardinal’s European re-release that same year—is a wisp of a lullaby about a friendship between two men adrift in their lives. Every instrument, from Levine’s drums to Adan Carlo Feliciano’s bass slows to the stillness of morning, while Hall and keyboardist Nandi Rose Plunkett’s twin harmonies build with each verse until they take flight. (Plunkett, who left Pinegrove’s full-time lineup after Cardinal to focus on her own project, Half Waif, is a brilliant presence here.) In divine moments like “Paterson & Leo” and later, on “Amulets,” each slight note has a defined voice.

Little on Skylight merits the emo-revival label that has trailed the band since their inception. Instead, the group leans into the country tendencies that permeated Cardinal. On the closer “Light On,” Hall’s impassioned yelp melts into a full-on drawl, while a lap steel courtesy of Joshua F. Marré paints a rich wash beneath him. With much of the singalong hooks of Cardinal stripped back, Hall attempts to translucently dissect his limitations here. “I wanna talk about/All the ways/Every example of/The shapes/We use to communicate,” he intones on “Portal.” The recording is distinctly raw with few overdubs, evoking dusty alt-country or an indie-folk record from the early aughts. The effect is modest and discrete, especially on tracks like “Darkness,” a wandering meditation reminiscent of Sheryl Crow in her ’90s prime. On “Angelina,” a fan favorite that has appeared on compilations and live records, the desire gets tangled, but the passion rings clear.

At her 2015 retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Yoko Ono built a free-standing spiral staircase titled “To See the Sky.” As visitors took turns climbing the steps toward a glass skylight—symbolizing infinite promise—the structure rattled. Each quiver seemed to suggest that transcendence never comes without risk. Despite our efforts, Ono explained, “We are not tall enough to touch the sky.” How easy it is, then, to sing about friendship, love, and community, to realize that art cannot account for your actions, to know we are not tall enough to transcend. Skylight closes with Hall looking upwards on the ballad “Light On,” as the band sways from one measure to the next. His voice stretches to a falsetto as he considers a real solution: “I wanna do much better.”


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Moto Z4 Play Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We investigate rumours surrounding the Moto Z4 Play, which could be announced in June 2019 with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Announced in June 2018, the Moto Z3 Play was never joined in the UK by the standard Moto Z3. It's possible that for the Z4 series we will again see only the Play model go on sale here, with the Moto Z4 Play expected to be announced in the UK in mid-2019.

Dell XPS 13 (2019) vs Dell XPS 13 (2018)

Can Dell make its XPS 13 laptop any better? Well it's tried with a new 2019 model so we compare the two and explain what has and hasn't changed.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) Or Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
There’s a new XPS 13 in town but you’ll struggle to justify the upgrade from 2018’s model with namely a new webcam as a headline upgrade.
Sure, there are other upgrades to the the core specs but for most people, these will be fairly insignificant. The inclusion of a cheaper Core i3 model is particularly interesting.

2019 Lincoln Continental Review

If you’re tired of the same old luxury options, the 2019 Lincoln Continental provides a refreshingly retro-cool alternative.
The 2019 Lincoln Continental is a big, luxurious American sedan at a time when Americans are hardly buying big, luxurious American sedans anymore. Regardless, it’s a throwback ride with plenty of character, great value, lots of power, and a classic nameplate. We give it 7.5 out of 10 overall.
Among European and Japanese rivals with established models – S-Class, 7 Series, LS – this Lincoln stands out for several reasons, chief among them its nameplate. With the Continental, Lincoln has one of the most storied American car names.

Like Fan Page