Pinegrove – “The Alarmist”

Later this week, Pinegrove, the New Jersey twangy-emo cult favorites, will release their new LP Marigold. It’s their third album, and it’s the first that they recorded since Pinegrove frontman Evan Stephens Hall released a statement addressing accusations that he’d used “sexual coercion.” This week, The New Yorker published a long story about Pinegrove, and the writer, the great former New York Times pop critic Kelefa Sanneh, spoke to both Hall and his still-anonymous accuser. The story remains vague on what Hall did, and it includes few new revelations, among them the fact that Hall’s accuser had toured with Pinegrove as a member of the band’s crew. Instead, the article works as an attempt to wrestle with the idea that a beloved musician might not be as sensitive as the person he portrays in his music.

It’s hard for actual music to make itself heard in this context, but Pinegrove still have a new album coming out, and they’re still dropping advance singles. We’ve already posted the early tracks “Moment” and “Phase.” Today, they’ve shared another new one called “The Alarmist.” It’s a big, semi-acoustic rocker about heartbreak and sensitivity: “So it would be good to talk/ For my sanity/ Now do what you feel like you gotta do/ But be good to me.”

In a press release, Hall says this about “The Alarmist”:

This song tries to look at the negotiation of space between two people — balancing comfort and closeness with a need for independence. The song takes place in the first moment you find yourself alone after an intense experience with a friend, sorting through the layers of history, head swimming; revisiting frames of memory, seeing your relationship (& yourself in it) with startling clarity.

Pinegrove have shared both the song itself and a video of Hall performing it acoustic. If you like, you can check out both below.

Marigold is out 1/17 on Rough Trade.

Tags: Pinegrove