Pinegrove – “Old Friends” (Stereogum Premiere)
Pinegrove have been around in varying forms for over five years now, all of them centered around Evan Stephens Hall’s sardonic voice and dense lyricism. Last fall, the Montclair, NJ-based band announced that they had signed to Run For Cover to put out their official debut full-length, and reissued a collection of every song they had released so far in the appropriately titled Everything So Far. Their label signing announcement was also accompanied by a brand new song, “New Friends,” which shows up as the closing track on Cardinal, their forthcoming new record.
“Old Friends” is the companion to that song, kicking off the record and tying the whole thing in a neat circle. The titles betray their explorations — “New” is about walking into a party, not knowing anyone, and being forced to socialize, while “Old” takes on how stifling it can be to be tethered to your past, but how worthwhile those long-term connections can feel. The songwriting is, dare I say, Taylor Swiftian at points, by way of, like, Built To Spill: “I saw your boyfriend at the Port Authority/ That’s sort of a fucked up place/ Well, so I averted my stride on a quick one/ He’s coming back from goin’ over your place, huh.” That kind of romanticized, bitter specificity fills the song, down to the reworkings of its central question: “How come every outcome’s such a comedown?”
Listen below for the answer.
01 “Old Friends”
03 “Then Again”
07 “Size Of The Moon”
08 “New Friends”
01/07 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium
01/08 Baltimore, MD @ Skramden Yards *
01/09 Montclair, NJ @ Old Mogul Theater *
01/10 Oxford, CT @ The Grange *
01/18 New Brunswick, NJ @ Nowhere, USA
* w/ Cold Foamers