Montclair, NJ’s Pinegrove has been a favorite band of mine since their first release, Mixtape One, in 2010. It was a collection of home recordings that vibrated with crystalline, jangly guitar playing and were backed up by confessional, image-laden songwriting. I couldn’t stop listening.

Fast-forward to 2015, and Pinegrove, a Hidden Gem, is not so hidden anymore. Hall has been joined by a core band consisting of Nick and Zack Levine and Adan Feliciano. They’ve been touring constantly, most recently playing at the legendary Rough Trade Records in Brooklyn. Pinegrove has found their live-show sea legs, and people have noticed. Their sound is rich with creative electric guitar and drum interplay that leaves delicious little hollows for their lyrics to jump out and hit you. Imagine if Alex G and a younger, less haggard Mark Kozelek joined the Shins for an early tour.

Their newest single, the 1:23 long “Problems”, very deservedly found its way onto Topshelf Records’ 2014 digital sampler. It begins with a little bit of studio noise and a countoff, perhaps a nod to Pinegrove’s home-recording roots. Hall’s double-tracked vocals are full of emotion, and Zack Levine’s drumming plays perfectly with the lyrics, weaving in and out of each line. Lovely, dissonant electric guitar parts vibrate against one another, shimmering as the song ends after two lightning-quick verses, leaving us desperate for more song, just like the non-existent snow in the lyrics:

It was supposed to snow
but it didn’t
So there’s no excuses now.

Problems by Pinegrove

Other gems are “Namesake” from their EP, &.

And the track that hooked me all those years ago, “The Metronome”.

Website –
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Twitter – @PinegroveBand


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