“At the peak of my night terrors, which had become similar to ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street,’ crossing over into waking life, and then cured by finding a source of light, ‘Meadowsong’ became a metaphor for the need to confront, and make some changes in my life,” says Keith Abrams of the Pine Barons’ latest single. As he slowly worked out his “demons,” everything started piecing together around the band’s latest second album Mirage on the Meadow (Grind Select), out Oct. 9, was falling into place.
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A follow up to the Philadelphia-based indie rockers’ 2017 debut The Acchin Book, Mirage on the Meadow documents the band’s experimental musical, including the more reflective indie-rock rush of “Sputter,” which featured an accompanying video revealing Abrams’ musical journey from childhood in a montage of home videos, the beguiling dark wave pop of “Colette,” and Mirage‘s other melodic twists and turns.
If Acchin revealed Pine Barons’ knack for exploring some eccentric instrumentation (feathered paper dragged across paintings and field recordings in the night), Mirage on the Meadow has unraveled the band’s versatility shifting through more nuanced, and enchanting, arrangements.
“There’s no shortage of strange textures and auxiliary instruments throughout the record—a lot of messed up tape recorders, a piano phone, an amp inside a concert drum, clarinet, cellos, and violins, and lot of tape echo,” says Abrams. “I liked the idea of coming up with sounds that you can’t quite put your finger on.”
Melodically meditative, “Meadowsong” slowly builds off its psychedelic pulses. Swerving into pensive lyrics of melt downs and breaking free of mental shackles, Abrams is unwavering throughout, singing It’s just too personal / I want to dig myself down / or up, in the now / without the stark naked rationale peeling off.
Written by Abrams, Mirage explores the mental tolls of longing, death, the uncertainty of time lost, and other sentiments he didn’t want to veer to0 far from during recording. “I didn’t want the songs to wander too far from the initial feelings I had when writing them,” says Abrams. “So I would more or less see the demos through to the end.”
Abrams says he and guitarist Brad Pulley, two of the band’s founding members, along with drummer Alex Held, bassist James Tierney, and keyboardist Alex Beebe, worked well together to convey the new music.
“Aside from the music, there is a deep level of love and respect for one another that I cherish,” says Abrams. “As our journey in this band continues, I will always try to take in as much as I can as a songwriter, as I want to be constantly evolving, and to never stop.”