Unless you’ve been hanging around basements in Montclair, New Jersey, there’s a good chance you haven’t yet had your heart broken and put back together by DIY alt country outfit Pinegrove. That’ll change in a minute or so. The band, whose shifting lineup revolves around frontman Evan Stephens Hall, has rapidly earned a following of grown-up punks and other emotionally ambivalent listeners who like their music loud, soft, and everywhere in between, filling in those cracks that tend to appear in a freshly matured soul.
Pinegrove have signed with Run for Cover for their forthcoming debut LP, Cardinal. The full-length follows up a string of EPs that fluctuate between earnest indie rock and straight-up country revival; fellow DIY iconoclasts Saintseneca and Alex G both come to mind at various points of the band’s brief discography.
“Old Friends”, the opening track to Cardinal and a companion piece to the also-excellent “New Friends”, embodies and exemplifies everything that Pinegrove does well. The song staggers its way through a verse that’s literally heavy-handed, with a chugging guitar that bears all the weight of Hall’s clumsy melancholy. And yet, there’s something uplifting peeking out from behind the sadness, with Hall cryptically hinting that “I knew happiness when I saw it.” It’s a two-sided acknowledgement that everything sucks and everything will be alright, and it bears listening to with the volume turned all the way up.
Listen in to “Old Friends” below.