I never got around to writing about Pinegrove’s Cardinal, mainly because it came out last February, and I didn’t get into it until months later, while hearing about it roughly around “Best Of The Year So Far” times (mid-June). But I suppose that’s just the effect this album has had on most of its admirers, since you could probably make a case for Cardinal being the best “grower” album of the year. I guess that could come from the fact that at first, Pinegrove’s sound seems a little non-descript, as it pulls from a lot of different white people musical references in a way that could be described as Wilco-esque.
But like the best of Wilco (and other alt-country of this ilk), that easy-going shapelessness, sort of starts to become weirdly comforting at a certain point. And for that reason, this has easily become one of my most listened to albums of 2016. It’s an album that is just pleasant enough to serve as good background music, but at the same time, the nervous anxiety of Evan Stephens Hall’s lyrics are enough to draw you in if you need some music to lean your head on after a long day. And even though it’s an album that may take a few listens to truly appreciate, with a 30 minute running time, I’d say Cardinal is a pretty low-risk/high-reward endeavor, so I say check it out why don’t ya?
Favorite Tracks: “Old Friends”, “Then Again”, “Size Of The Moon”