• THE GROWLERS •
It still feels like new music, doesn’t it? Each new record from The Growlers has something gripping enough that makes it as exciting as a debut. We’ve been listening to The Growlers for a while now, and we know all their tricks: bashful love songs softly cradled by opiate-euphoria, kick-shit pub songs aggravated by rum and amphetamines, and, of course, how genuinely they’ve always related to the everyday man when the going gets tough. But something has been different with The Growlers lately. They’ve been coming home later at night smelling like cheap perfume and whiskey with a slick new Members Only jacket, and they’re not caressing our needs as much anymore. At this point, they know how obsessed with them we’ve become, and they don’t feel obligated to fill our every need. Now, they’ve decided they’re going to do what they want to do. They’re going to stay out and drink for however long they want. They’re going to pick up new moods and scents even if you don’t like them. They’re going to flirt with something new if it fancies them, and they’re going to turn up their fuzz and synthesizers however loudly they want.
• PINEGROVE •
After a number of different releases and years of touring, Montclair, New Jersey’s Pinegrove have offered their finest work to date with their newest album, Cardinal. The band’s captivating blend of indie rock, pop and country elements is more vivid, fine-tuned, and addictive than ever before. Vocalist/guitarist Evan Stephens Hall along with brothers Zack Levine (drums) and Nick Levine (guitar) form a core that has been playing together since early childhood. Painting his emotions onto these songs with colorful and kinetic strokes, Hall moves through Cardinal’s eight songs with unforgettable energy and passion, with a vocal performance that is pleasantly reminiscent of Will Oldham and Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch. Highlighted by the downtrodden nostalgia of twangy opener “Old Friends” and the climactic refrain of “Size of the Moon,” where the confession “I don’t know what I’m afraid of,” is just as much of a sing-a-long as it is an emotional breakdown, moods don’t stay in one place for very long on Cardinal – they are carefully crafted and revisited throughout to continually evoke the album’s central themes of memory, language, and home.
• ARDYN •
Ardyn (an appropriation of the Latin word for ‘enthusiastic’) is the moniker of young British siblings Rob and Katy Pearson. Forming their band from the otherwise lush surroundings of the Gloucestershire countryside, it’s a location in stark contrast to their dramatic dark-pop sound.
After superb performances at all 3 dates of Dot To Dot 2016, the rising duo saw a huge end to last year supporting Wild Beasts, Lapsley and selling out St Pancras Old Church in London.