Cardinal is the first album by Montclair, NJ indie folk-rock band Pinegrove. Opening with Old Friends, a song that’s equal parts of nostalgia and self-reflection, and closing with New Friends, forward-looking and expansive. The album moves in this direction, gradually moving from looking back, to looking forward.
This band’s influences seem to be all over the place from alt-rock bands to straight up folk acts and everything in between. I can hear strains like Sufjan Stevens and the Avett Brothers, Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire, all echoing through intimate, rough guitar and the pleasant vocal twang from frontman Evan Stephens Hall.
Their bandcamp site says they are a ” five-piece rock hard at work in the promotion of introspective partying!” Cardinal leads me to believe that they are about figuring out how to navigate being people having relationships to other people.
Recommendation: Buy It
Songs I have a Playlist for: Old Friends, Aphasia, New Friends
Clunkers I will thumbs down: There aren’t any terrible tracks on this album.