pity sex – white hot moon

white hot moon
out april 29th via run for cover records

the ann arbor, michigan quartet pity sex is a pop band masquerading as a shoegaze outfit.  beneath gloomy exteriors lie adroit guitar melodies and strong vocal hooks, a trait the band first explored on their 2013 debut feast of love and have now set out to perfect on its follow-up, white hot moon.  co-vocalists britty drake and brennan greaves again team up for listless explorations of infidelity and longing, toggling between downtrodden narratives and pointed conversations as fuzzed-out guitars buzz in the background.

the album’s twelve tracks rarely waver in tempo, a veritable locomotive engine that propels its train into the realm of 1990s nostalgia with a focus squarely on lyrical development.  drake takes more of a center stage than on previous efforts, be it commanding her own lead vocal on early stand-out “burden you” or sparring with greaves in traded stanzas on “september,” but her true apex hits on “plum,” a sparse, heartbreaking reflection on the loss of a parent that eventually gets consumed by a wall of guitars.

greaves’ performance across white hot moon isn’t too shabby either; his mumbled musings are more in-tune and focused than before, and ceding a bit more vocal duty to drake this time around allows for the attentive guitar work sprinkled throughout tunes like “orange and red” and “nothing rips through me.”

white hot moon feels very much like a continuation of its predecessor, and that’s perfectly alright.  pity sex excel at honing their craft, and astoundingly resonant pop gems like “pin a star” seem to suggest that downtrodden shoegaze is a comfort zone the band won’t need to rely on for much longer.  whether or not they will choose to completely shed their dichotomous aesthetic remains to be seen, but it’s clear that white hot moon is an incredibly focused effort that basks in a soothing analog warmth.  soak it up.

 

listen to a new song from elvis depressedly

elvis depressedly
photo courtesy of sam ray // run for cover records

after teasing “n.m.s.s” and the promise of a new album in 2014, elvis depressedly went mum, offering frustratingly little information on the status of their latest project.  good things come to those who wait, however; the band signed on with run for cover records earlier this year, and the boston-based label will release new alhambra at some point in may.  in the meantime mat cothran and delaney mills have offered up “bruises (amethyst),” a warbly slice of the duo’s home-recorded pensive pop that cothran describes quite beautifully in a recent interview with stereogum.  take a listen to “bruises (amethyst)” below.

listen to a new song from pity sex

pity sex stuck out in the crowd of emo-inspired bands that garnered extra attention last year, often putting shoegaze and noise-rock elements on a higher pedestal than their mid-1990s downtrodden idols.  the ann arbor quarter released a split with adventures today via run for cover records; each band contributed a cover along with a new original song, and pity sex offered up “acid reflex,” a noisy, mid-tempo number in the vein of last year’s feast of love.  the track premiered over at wondering sound yesterday, but now you can stream it right here as well.  take a listen.