Pinegrove Brings Captivating Indie-Rock Sound to Higher Ground | Vermont Arts

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Built around the core duo of songwriter Evan Stephens Hall and drummer Zack Levine, remarkable New Jersey-based indie rock band Pinegrove performs Monday at Higher Ground in support of “Amperland, NY,” a feature film and the accompanying soundtrack album released in January.

The film, scripted from a short story by Hall, was shot at the band’s longtime home in upstate New York – dubbed “Amperland” by the band and their fans – before the house will not be sold in early 2020.

Described by Hall as “fun, hopefully poignant, definitely weird,” the film features 22 songs that span Pinegrove’s 10-plus-year career. Recorded live in the Amperland House by Pinegrove guitarist / keyboardist Sam Skinner, the new renditions were also released on a soundtrack album of the same name.

A stellar recording from a band at the top of their game, “Amperland, NY” is packed with lovingly arranged versions of songs from the band’s impressive catalog that somehow sound more vital than ever.

In short, this is a must-have for die-hard fans of Pinegrove – a large and zealous Pinenuts band, as they called themselves – and for those looking for an entry point to one of the most popular indie rock bands. convincing of the moment.

Atwood magazine called it “perhaps the band’s most adventurous effort to bring the Pinegrovian universe to life,” adding: The most complete live album of their career.

The film and soundtrack album follow the early 2020 release of “Marigold”, Pinegrove’s fourth album. The album “adds to Pinegrove’s growing status as one of the most talented recording and touring groups in the country,” Under the Radar said, calling “Marigold” “the tightest recorded moments to date.” and “their most developed songs.”

The release of “Marigold” marked a return to form for Pinegrove after a hiatus of more than a year in 2018 following an allegation of sexual coercion against Hall by an anonymous woman, which Hall has sent at the end of 2017 on the group’s Facebook page.

One of the hottest indie rock bands of the day – thanks in large part to their widely acclaimed groundbreaking second album, “Cardinal” of 2016 – Pinegrove faded from the public eye in 2018, delaying release. from her third album, “Skylight”. until fall 2018.

“In the first three albums,” said The New York Times, “Hall has distinguished himself as a singer and lyricist of rare vulnerability, tender and thoughtful and also nurturing, his songs are so many vectors for the well- being and self-analysis of others. its own. “

Formed by childhood friends Hall and Levine in 2010 – who described their sound as “language arts rock” – Pinegrove has included “a constellation of soul mates,” as Levine calls them, as members of the group over the years. Almost everyone they work with is longtime friends and collaborators.

In addition to Hall, Levine and Skinner, Pinegrove’s current five-piece lineup includes guitarist Josh Marré and bassist Megan Benavente.

Monday’s show at the Higher Ground Ballroom – the group’s first since playing there two years ago – is Pinegrove’s second stop on a nine-day run that culminates in a show in his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey.

Skullcrusher, aka Los Angeles singer-songwriter Helen Ballentine, opens the show with Blue Ranger, a folk-rock group from Albany, NY, led by Pinegrove guitarist Josh Marré.

thomaswhuntington @ hotmail.com


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