Pinegrove

with Hovvdy

Thu, June 4, 2020

Port City Music Hall

Doors: 7:00pm - Show: 8:00pm - all ages

$20 advance
$24 day of show

Buy in person without fees at the Port City Music Hall box office Wednesday-Friday 10am-5pm. The PCMH box office will open 1 hour before doors night of show.


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Pinegrove

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. 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. 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 favor of something honest and unique.

Hovvdy

Charlie Martin and Will Taylor met at a baseball game while on tour drumming for different bands. Back home in Austin, the two Texas natives discovered both held batches of compatible songs, intended for solo projects. They merged as Hovvdy instead.

Penned separately, the duo’s first-ever songwriting efforts coalesce seamlessly on debut LP Taster . To this day, Charlie and Will create like satellites on the same orbit, combining bedroom recordings into a singular worn-in sound. Their downtempo rock found an audience in the Austin and New Orleans scenes, elevated by support from small indie Sports Day Records.

Brooklyn label Double Double Whammy re-released Taster in 2017, followed by Cranberry in 2018. The sophomore work solidified the group’s sturdy guitar strums and rhythmic instincts, enveloped in nostalgic glow. Third LP Heavy Lifter finds new dimensions in the Hovvdy soundscape.

For Heavy Lifter, the duo worked with producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Ben Littlejohn. Throughout fall 2018, the team built out the album in makeshift home studios around Texas. Both singers’ voices cut through more decisively than ever, carried by vivid storytelling and production eccentricities.

Familiar fuzz maintains the warmth of past work, but Heavy Lifter is never muffled. Clear-cut characters and scenes emerge in the 13 tracks. Antsy love song “1999” wanders around a small town, while bright pop piece “Mr. Lee” retells a lonely day in reverent detail. Lo-fi Daniel Johnston moment “TellmeI’masinger” empathetically enters an artistic perspective, unwound lyrically as: “Tell me I’m a singer.”

Memories inform present decision-making throughout the album. Two tracks dive into family legacies, “Pixie” admitting “outside my mind/ is where i’m gonna be/ not what i had hoped at 14.” “Sudbury” recounts childhood major league dreams: “front yard catch, you got a plan/ to be a baseball star/ texas ranger shortstop.”

Breaking from the confines of guitar-based slowcore, pop and hip-hop influences expand Hovvdy’s established framework. Propulsive, straightforward hooks usher in autotuned tweaks, chugging beats and genre exploration. By pulling apart slightly, Charlie and Will step into new spaces on Heavy Lifter . Always in sync, it’s a balanced effort.