On January 28th, The indie band Pinegrove released their sixth album “11:11.” It consists of 11 tracks that give off a vibe similar to a lot of other indie artists, such as Cavetown or Rex Orange County. The group has a total of about seven hundred thousand monthly listeners and seems to have a growing fanbase still. It presents a variety of interesting tracks that will either relax you or wake you up. Almost every song consists of very delicately played guitar and intricately crafted lyrics that can take you to new places. While listening to the album, you may lose track of time and, before you know it, 39 minutes have passed like it was nothing. It presents themes of love, life and happiness throughout the album and does it very well. While discussing the album before its release, Evan Stephans Hall explains the meaning behind the title: “Calling the record “11:11” should be a heartening statement, though there’s certainly a range of emotion across the album. There’s much to be angry about right now, and a lot of grief to metabolize. But hopefully, the loudest notes are of unity, collectivity, and community. I want to open a space for people to feel all these things.” Each song in the album tries to express an emotion about the current status of our world in a very interesting and creative way. He then added, “It spends equal time on optimism, community, reaffirming our human duty to look out for one another even in the absence of the people we expect to do those things. What if we have to be our own salvation?”
The first song you are presented with is “Habitat.” The song contains flowing lyrics with heavy electric guitar at many points in the song, paired with crashing cymbals from the drummer as well as a steady beat. The song’s lyrics discuss our current world’s conditions with COVID and how many people aren’t taking it seriously. The artist expresses their frustration that many people refuse to wear masks, regardless of how many people are being affected by the virus. The last lyric of the song, “Never forget, The t-shirt says, With no mask on,” talks about people in America remembering events like 9/11, where many people were affected, but refusing to help in a crisis such as this where more and more people are being affected every day.
One of the more popular songs off of this album is “Alaska.” It starts with more electric guitar and drums to form a rhythm that gets you tapping your foot right away. Its tempo is much faster than the previous song “Habitat,” but it doesn’t let down with its impressive lyricism. It’s a shorter song that makes you wish there was more to listen to. When listening to this song you get this sense of freedom that the artist wants to convey to their audience. This song currently has 1,276,999 listens. The song that follows is “Iodine,” which almost seems to take the same rhythm from the previous song and alter it into an entirely new song. This song shares similar aspects to the song “Feb. 14” by Cavetown. The slow acoustic guitar brings forward a very whimsical sensation, making it seem very folksy in the best way possible. The lyrics describe this feeling of melancholy, like nothing is going your way whatsoever and you can’t think of anything to fix this feeling.
One of the later songs on the album that shares the theme of melancholy is “Respirate.” This song only has about four hundred and thirteen thousand listens but is very underappreciated for what it is. This song’s combination of a relaxed drumline with a catchy electric guitar to back it up creates a song that has you swaying back and forth with every crash of the cymbal and hit of the toms. The vocals match perfectly with the music, as do the lyrics. This song discusses mental health and how COVID has affected many people. As the lyrics say, many people will tell you to “just breathe,” but for so many people it’s a lot harder to do that. And with COVID bringing forward a whole new batch of things to be anxious about, people with anxiety and depression may be struggling more than usual. The lyrics also talk about taking it “day by day,” meaning the singer is taking his problems a day at a time and not letting them overwhelm him.
All in all, this album brings forward a whole slew of emotional pieces that can make you experience an array of feelings. If you appreciate music that has this power, I highly recommend you give this album a listen from start to finish. You will start to listen to “Habitat” and before you know it you’ll be listening to the final track not even realizing it’s over.