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Pinegrove - Old Friends image

Pinegrove Song old friends

Artiste: Pinegrove
Album: Cardinal (8 Tracks)
Year: 2019
Added: , (2019-08-01)

Pinegrove old friends: The Montclair, N.J. group Pinegrove have two logos: one, a small box intersected with an identical box, is favored among their legions of young and tattooed fans, as evidenced in an endless stream of RTs on the band’s page. The other is an ampersand. This summer, when Pitchfork interviewed the band’s frontman, Evan Stephens Hall—a 27-year-old of highly enthusiastic, bookish charisma—he said he’d thought about publishing a pamphlet on Pinegrove iconography. Both symbols, he said, are intended to reflect an ethos of multiplicity, of many simultaneous realities, and thus of radical empathy.

On Cardinal, Hall’s plainspoken lyrics belie this epistemological headiness, but you can feel the compassion in their raw alt-country arrangements, in phrases that reach and erupt. Pinegrove songs are appealingly episodic. “Aphasia,” the best one, is about moments when language falters. The narrative leading “Size of the Moon”—moving furniture to dance, the liminality in love—is basically Taylor Swift’s “Out of the Woods.” When people call Cardinal “emo,” what they mean is there’s bracing lucidity to lyrics such as “I saw Leah on the bus a few months ago/Saw some old friends at her funeral,” or “Maybe I should have got out a bit more when you guys were still in town/I got too caught up in my own shit/That’s how every outcome’s such a comedown.” Life, as ever, demands such clear-headedness. It demands we learn how to talk with one another. Cardinal contains that power and hope. –Jenn Pelly


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