Everything about Pllush’s debut album sounds massive. Take “Big Train,” the third single from Stranger To The Pain and, to my ears, one of the best things that the San Francisco band has ever done. That chorus is just so good, the kind of perfectly logical rush that still feels entirely unexpected at the same time. “Who’s gonna love me more/ When I’m crying in the middle of the night?” Karli Helm sings, each word slotting into place like a puzzle piece. “Lately I’m feeling torn/ ‘Cuz nothing ever comes out right.” The song tendrils out from that first hit, Helm’s voice gruff and reactive, as a chorus of singers builds in the background to a magnificent and booming conclusion.
The song’s about learning to love yourself before anyone else, realizing that you can’t reciprocate what you don’t have. It’s about the independence that comes with being on your own, the fight to stand on your own two feet without breaking down. It’s a struggle that the band’s explored on their last two singles, “Shannon” and “Ortega,” and it’s all over their upcoming debut album.
Stranger To The Pain is out 6/8 via Father/Daughter Records. Pre-order it here.