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.
pity sex are slated to release their sophomore full-length, white hot moon, on april 29th via the esteemed run for cover records. the ann arbor quartet has long displayed a propensity for crafting a distinct brand of forlorn shoegaze, and its further refinement has not gone unnoticed. following the stellar “what might soothe you?” and “burden you,” pity sex have offered up “pin a star,” a fuzzy, particularly pop-centric single that infuses britty drake’s coos of undeniable truths with echoed sentiments from co-vocalist brennan greaves. take a listen to “pin a star” below.
ann arbor quartet pity sex has long been skilled at pairing fuzzed-out walls of sound with dreamy, vulnerable vocal dialogues, and they’ll continue to hone that craft on white hot moon. the band’s sophomore full-length is due out april 29th via run for cover records; after teasing “what might soothe you?” all the way back in september, pity sex has returned with “burden you,” an intricately-crafted single that effortlessly toggles between the band’s two extremities with greater frequency than ever before. it’s easily their best yet. listen to “burden you” below.
those that have been reading dimestore saints since this site’s earliest days may remember that we were quite enamored with ann arbor quartet pity sex throughout most of 2013. their debut full-length feast of love coincided with what felt like the apex of the so-called emo revival, though the band’s penchant for gloomy shoegaze taken at punk tempos set them apart from their peers. pity sex recently wrapped up work on their sophomore effort, white hot moon; it’s due out this coming spring via run for cover records, and today the band shared its lead single. “what might soothe you?” finds co-vocalists brennan greaves and britty drake furthering the gloomy, hopelessly romantic dialogue drummer and lyricist sean st. charles crafted across feast of love while the underneath accompaniment veers towards the extremes, with clean passages suddenly juxtaposed by fuzzed-out guitar smears. take a listen to “what might soothe you?” below.