PINEGROVE – ” Marigold ” Acoustic Versions

Posted: June 17, 2020 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Pinegrove’s new album begins with a breath and ends with a shimmering exhalation. In between is “Marigold”, an urgent, multivalent meditation—and an expanded take on the blend of alt-country, indie rock and cerebral humanism that’s inspired the band’s ardent fan community. Marigold marks their Rough Trade Records debut, offering what songwriter Evan Stephens Hall calls a “heart-first” perspective. Those familiar with Pinegrove will recognize signature elements of the band’s sound: literary yet conversational lyrics, geometrically interlocking guitars, the dynamic shifting shadows of rhythm and structure. Marigold is the first true collection of Pinegrove songs that addresses (or doesn’t) the events that have unfolded since lead singer Evan Stephens Hall’s admission of sexual coercion in late 2017 via a Facebook post. Marigold also follows Skylight’s tendencies to aim for a softer, more delicate, more intimate sound than anything on Cardinal.  

But this effort marks the most spacious, bold, and well defined iteration of the project yet Formed in 2010 by childhood friends Evan and drummer Zack Levine, Pinegrove have released three previous albums —Everything So Far (2015), Cardinal (2016), and Skylight (2018) —to massive critical acclaim, garnering them a widespread and devoted listenership. They’ve described their sound as variously as introspective party music, or energetic music in the folk tradition; in any case they have combined catharsis and inventive structures with irrepressible melodies, resonant lyrics and emotive twang. Gone are the cathartic, fist-pumping moments from “Cadmium,” the louder, capital-R Rock aesthetics from “Then Again” or the bruising solos à la “Aphasia.” Hall & co. respond with a more refined batch of songs on Marigold. It seems Hall realized yelps and screams don’t necessarily attract the most attention; he now recognizes that by being even more vulnerable than ever before, he’s capable of producing his finest song writing yet. 

That’s particularly obvious on “The Alarmist,” as Hall nearly whispers the final line of the first verse: “I whisper to myself / Then I’m spinning it half around / Like an echo / A faraway sound / Saying, ‘be good to me.’” Though the first stanza makes it seem like this is a song about the breakdown of a relationship and Hall’s inability to communicate effectively, that raw “be good to me” refrain feels wholly personal, directed towards himself and no one else. For the public to forgive him for his past misdeeds (if it ever will), he needs to forgive himself first to find a way forward.

Marigold finds the band expanding into the latter, spreading out over varying tempos and swelling pedal steel. But in surprising moments, the album can suddenly unfold into the band’s heaviest, most unbound offerings yet—a cavalier disregard of genre in favour of something honest and unique.

what’s up everyone! today we’re excited to announce some shows – a handful of dates in the UK, two hands full of dates in june in the US! later this year.

Pinegrove’s new album ‘Marigold’, Released January 17th, 2020 on Rough Trade Records.

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