The seventh instalment of Smashed Vinyls Albums of the Year So Far... comes from the boys from Broadbay. The band from Brighton, who recently toured with local punk legends Gnarwolves, are one of Brighton's music scenes bands to watch. In the near future I'm expecting their debut album to be part of one of these articles.
Being asked to choose your favourite record of the year so far is a scary thing for me. Not due to the overwhelming amount of new music being produced but because I’m late to every party, even the Radiohead themed party I’ve been looking forward to for years. A lot of the new music I end up hearing is through friends in the van and this record’s no different. Big Philly of Woahnows fame introduced me to Pinegrove in February while we were doing a short stint with those guys and The New Tusk. For the following week whilst travelling hungover between shows, the line “How come every outcome’s such a comedown?” from the opening track Old Friends rattled around my brain. Since that tour I’ve listened to Cardinal, Pinegrove’s debut album for Run For Cover Records, almost daily and it never fails to evoke poignant yet comforting emotions, along with the memories of Bill, Broadbay’s drummer, forcing jagerbombs down my throat.
Pinegrove’s sound is a combination of eclectic genre’s including alt-country, indie rock and emo. Each brings their own dynamic to the sound, culminating in something familiar and comforting, whilst simultaneously feeling new and exciting. Lyrical themes on the record base themselves around love lost, being left behind, and an inability to communicate your feelings. The latter exemplified in the centerpiece of the album Aphasia, named after a condition that affects the brain, leading to not being able to use language correctly. The track starts soft with the line, “so satisfied I said a lot of things tonight”, the act of saying anything at all being the most important thing. Lead singer Stephen Hall’s vocals are a major highlight of the album all round, not always for the melody (the melody’s are all fucking great) but for the way they’re projected, sometimes monotone and almost bored, at other times cracking with emotion. That’s why this record has stood out for me so much, it’s instantly emotional and relatable but most importantly it’s believable. It’s helped me through a hard couple of months recently and I can’t wait to see it live in September when they come over to England. See you at the Brighton show?