Review by Shannon Shumaker
Ottawa’s Pine have created an incredibly cathartic yet soothing release with their newest EP, Pillow Talk, all while carving out their own space in the quickly growing emo/shoegaze genre. Vocally, these five emotional songs are incredibly soothing and sonically, they’re mellow and reverb-heavy but with a hint of pop that sets Pine apart from the pack and easily transports you into their world.
Heartbreaking opening track, “Dolya” really sets the tone of longing for the rest of these songs, easing you into the album with inviting yet raw vocals and sleepy guitar work. Quickly, Pine assures you that they’re not a one trick pony though, as the second track, “Viable” is a bit more upbeat, swapping heavy reverb for a more distorted sound. “Viable” makes for a perfect snapshot of Pine’s sound, with nods toward the opening track with mellow verses but keeps things interesting with a more upbeat chorus.
Thankfully, Pine seem to know how to balance the sleepy, melodramatic tones with catchy hooks that’ll stop things from feeling stagnant. Because of this, the difference between “Viable” and the emotionally vulnerable “(Un)rest” is a bit drastic. It might take you a moment to adjust to the change in tone and tempo between songs, but where Pine shine in the songwriting on “Viable,” they also know how to make a sleepy song like “(Un)rest” work with strong lyricism.
The band really shines on fourth song, “Jilt” as well, which changes mood and tempo without missing a beat. Then comes the final acoustic track, which nearly feels reminiscent of City And Colour’s earlier work, teasing listeners with yet another side of Pine before things come to an end. By this point, it’s impossible not to feel something while listening to these powerful songs. Lyrically, Pine really lay it all on the line and the songwriting just amplifies these emotions, making for a very powerful release, despite the mellow tones.
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LISTEN TO "Viable"