Not too long ago I initially came across the band Pure Ecstasy. In discovering Pure Ecstasy, I came across another band from the same record label as Pure Ecstasy, and their name would be SILVER PINES. They both have released something on the Light Lodge imprint, and if it wasn’t for Pure Ecstasy, I don’t think I would have come across this gem of a band.
Silver Pines come from the same place as Pure Ecstasy, (which would be somewhere in Texas), and they actually share some band members. Jesse Jenkins and Austin Youngblood from Pure Ecstasy also play in the Silver Pines, and if you’re asking me, Silver Pines is like the next step up from Pure Ecstasy with a few elements added to change things up a bit. They play deliciously hazy and atmospheric slow summer jams, all being drowned out, layered and as frothy as can be. Stefanie Franciotti takes vocals duties in Silver Pines, and that’s probably the most noticeable difference between them and Pure Ecstasy.
Their debut LP “Forces” is a dazed out journey across an endless beach, and it all begins on the first track “Timefather”. Franciotti voice hangs perfectly over the mix, being as moody as possible, but at the same time completely laid back and relaxed. It’s almost like she’s trying to sing you to sleep as all the little subtleties in the music come and go. Towards the end with about a minute left in the song, the guitar beings to squeal and swirl away, becoming a textured wall of sound that you probably didn’t see coming at first listen. Next up comes the darker ambient song “Polar Bear Music”, and while I’m not entirely sure this goes along with things a polar bear does, I can tell you that this one becomes another textured and layered mess of a song, with crashing cymbals and scorching guitars – except this one is instrumental.
Following up this song is the moody “Maypearl”, which is about as slow as it gets on “Forces”. The bass line shakes the ground below your feet as Franciotti’s vocals float above the song, and they even bring in the keyboards for this one. During the final minute of the track a crunchy guitar solo comes through to melt our faces, and before you know it it’s time for the next song, “Payasito”. This one is probably the most welcoming and accessible song on the album, as the joyous guitars that introduce the song continue on as it builds up more and more and gets louder and louder. The numbing guitars swirl around towards the end as they evoke a heavenly landscape that beckons you to jump in and just float away. Great stuff right here. Following that song would be the slow, strung out track “Travelin’ Bones”, filled with a bunch of subtle sound effects, tambourine hits, and Franciotti’s beautiful, comforting voice. Next up comes another instrumental track, and it’s strangely called “Fortress of Daughters”. The drums are ridiculously drowned out, giving you the sense that they’re being played from miles away. They echo like crazy in the beginning, and then everything else comes in midway and we’re in the midst of another textured Silver Pines wall of sound that they’re so good at doing. I’m not exactly sure why, but I don’t have the next song that should be the final track, “Old Sky”, so I guess this is where I’ll end for today.
One last thing: The Philadelphia Flyers MUST win tonight, or else they’re fantastic run in the post-season will finally come to an end. We’ll see what happens. Either way, thanks for a great season, and possibly the most exciting post-season I have ever seen in my 18-or-so years of watching ice hockey. See ya tomorrow!
My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Ambient
2.) Polar Bear Music
5.) Travelin’ Bones
6.) Fortress of Daughters
7.) Old Sky
Silver Pines on Myspace
BUY the LP directly from LIGHT LODGE
Pure Ecstasy previously posted on the Styrofoam Drone: Easy 7″ – Voices 7″
Silver Pines on Discogs – They have a cassette tape that I’d like to get my hands on!