As we all lick our wounds from 2020, it’s a good time to officially move forward from this awful time in history. I think I speak for all of us when I say it’s gonna be great to start an article without talking about 2020. Wait, I did just that, didn’t I? Well, I didn’t claim to be perfect or even consistent so. However, do you know who is consistent? Soul Step Records! Just as I was finishing up putting away my Christmas decorations and ridding my home of wrapping paper and holiday snacks, I received a package from the indie label. Inside was Slow Blink, the new vinyl release from In The Pines. Just like with every Soul Step Release, I threw it on the turntable, hit the lights, and consumed the album in one sitting.
Slow Blink was my introduction to In The Pines. A quick skim of their social media page and the hype sticker states they’re from Cincinnati and this is their second record. That tells me 2 things: the dudes of In The Pines have a diverse set of influences and they’ve likely perfected their core sound. Upon my first playthrough, it’s obvious both assumptions were 100% true.
“Hullabaloo” kicks things off with a clean-yet-noisy 1960s influenced romp as if The Evening Attraction and Timothy Eerie had a baby. By the time “The Sun” comes around with its melancholy atmosphere, I realized Slow Blink is essentially a psche-rock album. But not psychedelic in a Tame Impala sense, more like actual psychedelica from blending styles and emotions together in a single album. This notion is fully explored in the 8-minute epic “Naked Eye”. There’s also a wild assortment of plot twists in terms of instrumentation with “Reborn” being my favorite example.
The most remarkable thing about In The Pines is how they draw from a wide range of influences. These days just about anyone could plug in some oversaturated guitars, whimper into a mic, and claim to be a pysche-rock artist. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of that here and it’s awesome! But unlike so many other artists gaining momentum in the movement, In The Pines make it make sense. There’s a time and place for every single production nuance. From guitar tone, reverb effects, all the way to unexpected subtle hints of emotional vulnerability. In The Pines is just simply a cut above many other artists in this genre. And this is only their second record!
We’re all moving on from a terrible place and leaning into what we love like music, in order to pull ourselves through. Slow Blink is the perfect album to kick the year off too. Do you want a New Year’s resolution? How about choosing to listen to something new at least once every week? If that sounds good, In The Pines has got you covered.