|The Pines — Dark So Gold (2012)|
The Pines — Dark So Gold
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Album release: January 31, 2012
Record Label: Red House Records
01. Cry, Cry, Crow 3:43
02. If By Morning 3:56
03. All The While 3:49
04. Moonrise, Iowa 1:49
05. Rise Up And Be Lonely 4:37
06. Be There In Bells 6:09
07. Grace Hill 2:18
08. Chimes 4:02
09. Dead Feathers 4:40
10. Losing The Stars 3:23
Rolling Stone: "quietly gripping"
¤ "Masterful songcraft... Easily my favorite record of the year."
¤ "spooky country-noir... conjuring a grizzled sky, parched fields and cold wind"
¤ "Easily my favorite record of the year. It has more in common with a great novel or book of poetry than it does with most music being made today." - Mason Jennings
¤ "Like a midnight blizzard, the songs of the Pines are dark, ominous and strangely hypnotic." - Boston Globe
¤ There truly is no other band like The Pines. Their distinct blend of dark, atmospheric indie-rock, folk and blues has been described by Rolling Stone's David Fricke as "quietly gripping." On Dark So Gold, their 3rd Red House Records release, Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt lead up their 7-piece band to invoke all the allure and mystery that permeates through their previous records with 10 songs that showcase the group's expanding sound while exploring new sonic ground. Balancing between their folk roots and indie-rock influences, Dark So Gold is an album poised to break The Pines into the mainstream.
¤ Conjuring rural ghosts, Dark So Gold mixes their rich, poetic lyrics with the sonic landscapes that The Pines have made their signature. Exploring the tension between city and small town and the loneliness that can exist in both, they move through breakups and new beginnings on songs like "If By Morning," "All the While," "Dead Feathers" and the radio-friendly "Chimes." Whether rocking out ("Rise Up and Be Lonely") or playing contemplative instrumentals ("Moonrise, IA" and "Losing the Stars"), The Pines cook up a diverse palette of musical flavors and songs that reflect on cold days, dark nights and the hope that shines in between.
¤ Rising out of the prairies of the Midwest, The Pines are one of the most distinct and powerful indie-rock/Americana groups to hit the national scene in years. Emerging from the same Minneapolis music world that spawned such notable acts as The Jayhawks, The Replacements and Bob Dylan, The Pines have gathered a stunning line-up of musical talent, in both their live shows and on record, that has gained them a faithful and growing following.
¤ Frontmen Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt share a common musical language rooted in the songs and songwriters of their native Iowa, while each bringing a distinct voice and sensibility to the sound that Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke called “quietly gripping” stark-country. The mysterious sound of The Pines fuses Benson’s ethereal, otherworldly, heart-piercing songs with David’s earthy, darkly romantic and rough-hewn visionary tales. With masterful guitar work, beautiful vocals and the graceful keyboard and vocal additions of Benson’s brother Alex Ramsey, the core of The Pines’ sound captivates and elevates with rare intimacy.
¤ Surprisingly, David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey actually began their musical partnership in Arizona, where they both lived in a Mexican barrio and first began playing together. The son of Greg Brown’s producer and sideman Bo Ramsey, Benson was reared on folk and blues music and continues to let those influences shine, even on louder electric songs. David also had a deep love for traditional music, and together the two of them started crafting songs that evoke the ancient, while incorporating newer rock and pop sounds.
¤ Committing to a musical career together, Benson and David returned to their Midwestern roots and moved to Minneapolis, where they slowly grew their band to include banjo player Michael Rossetto (Spaghetti Western String Co.), drummer J.T. Bates (Michel Portal, John Gorka), bassist James Buckley (Ed Harcourt, Daniel Johnston, Dosh), guitarist Jacob Hanson (Halloween, Alaska) and Benson’s brother Alex Ramsey on keyboards.
¤ Creating quite a buzz around the Twin Cities and across the Upper Midwest, The Pines caught the attention of acclaimed indie label Red House Records and signed with them in 2007, releasing their breakout album Sparrows in the Bell, named one of the top roots releases of the year by Q Magazine. The Pines wowed audiences at the 2008 South By Southwest (SXSW) and were named one of the musical highlights by CMT.com. They followed up this success with Tremolo, an album that garnered rave reviews in magazines like Rolling Stone and got airplay on tastemaker stations such as KCRW and The Current. It landed them coveted performances on Daytrotter.com and Bob Harris’ popular BBC show, winning them new fans across North America and Europe. A great live act whether performing as a stripped-down trio (David Huckfelt, Benson Ramsey and Alex Ramsey) or as a full rock band, The Pines’ devoted cult following and has led them to share the stage with such diverse acts as Jolie Holland, The Arcade Fire, Iris DeMent, Mavis Staples, Bon Iver and The Holmes Brothers.
¤ There’s only a few bands where I actually remember the moment I heard them, the instant that I knew this was something I needed to have. The Gaslight Anthem, I was listening to an online radio station, and before the last half of ‘Great Expectations‘ was over I had there first and second album. The times where you literally feel something inside that excites you uncontrollably, to where you feel as if a new void has been opened and filled by the same three-minute masterpiece. The Pines, I was searching for new music, and this was something I needed to have.
¤ ‘Dark So Gold’ is the newest album from the Minneapolis duo, and it is quite an accomplishment. Stand-out tracks include ‘Cry, Cry Crow’, an unplugged Brand New vibe with Bright Eyes vocals mixed together as an incredible love ballad, ‘All The While’ with it’s heartfelt folksy rhythm and powerful lyrics, and ‘Be There In Bells’ for the Allman Brothers inspired stringwork and Mumford and Sons delivery. Honorable mentions would have to be ‘Dead Feathers’, a southern waltz with Bob Dylan’s soul, and ‘Losing The Stars’ for the piano that seems to fill you completely with every emotion it conveys, every key’s meaning.
¤ The Pines new record is truly an amazing one, with its clash of bluegrass and blues, southern and soulful indie. A perfect addition to any Band Of Horses playlist you have, ‘Dark So Gold’ definitely has the A.V.S. stamp of approval and we hope to see some west coast tour dates sometime soon from this wonderful new find.
© Author: Darin Back
© Author: Peter Schawang, J203360 U.S. Copyright Office, taken circa 1915 (copyright deposit received May 25, 1915)
|The Pines — Dark So Gold (2012)|