Jan
29

Foundation Presents

Pinegrove

The Beacham, Ages 12+

Orlando, FL

Doors: 5:30PM | Show: 6:00PM

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    Foundation Presents

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Event Details

Evan Stephens Hall is big on multiple meanings. The leader of Pinegrove titled their sixth album 11:11

because of its layered significance: the numerals gesturing to a row of trees, or striped corduroy; the

cornfields of upstate New York, or people shoulder-to-shoulder. But it’s also a special time, a “wink from

the universe,” as Hall says, for those who witness it on the clock to wish for something brighter. “Calling

the record 11:11 should be a heartening statement, though there's certainly a range of emotion across the

album. There's much to be angry about right now, and a lot of grief to metabolize. But hopefully, the

loudest notes are of unity, collectivity, and community. I want to open a space for people to feel all these

things.”

The album sees the band build on their poetic blend of indie rock, folk, and alt-country, along with Hall’s

earnest, open-hearted vocals and his penchant for writing emotionally direct, literate, introspective lyrics.

Here, political and socially conscious themes permeate, and as he evolves as an artist, his resolve has

only grown stronger – and more purposeful. “I’m encouraged that so many people in my generation are

now on board for a change that centers people over profit. And most urgently, I think, in order to durably

solve the climate crisis we've got to address capitalism.” The band's latest effort weaves these critiques

through an accessible and sensitive work, which manages to be pointed without ever being didactic.

Noted producer and former Death Cab for Cutie member Chris Walla took on mixing duties, while Hall

and Pinegrove multi-instrumentalist Sam Skinner co-produced the LP. Hall credits Walla’s impeccably

placed arrangement ideas as a vital voice at the table, moving on from the “crisp and contained”

production on 2020’s Marigold, to more of a “messier” feel for these new songs. The recording took place

at two Hudson Valley facilities – the iconic Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock and The Building in

Marlboro – with Skinner and Pinegrove drummer Zack Levine at Hall’s side for the process. Other

collaborators in the band's orbit –

Megan Benavente (bass), Josh F. Marre (guitar) and Hall’s father Doug (piano and organ) – contributed in

a combination of remote and calculated risk sessions.

The album is introduced with the mini-epic “Habitat.” A robust, textural masterpiece inspired by long

drives around upstate New York. Hall says that the dilapidated houses covered in plantlife that spot the

landscape have made an intense impression. “It's hard to see that kind of recalibration, but at the same

time, there’s a primal irony in seeing nature win against our decaying structures. I drew inspiration from

that tension and those brambly textures with Habitat's arrangement.” Hall continues to investigate the

natural world on the equally disquieting “Flora” and later, on the elegiac waltz “Orange.” Centering on the

climate crisis, the song spreads over the listener like a dream, with Hall’s impassioned, rising vocals

producing a near-hallucinatory realization that we may now find ourselves at the end of history. It’s a call

to affirm the community working towards a better world and to fight through the cynicism. “These

politicians who forget they serve us, they think they're celebrities,” he says. “It’s about the betrayal of the

Democratic Party.”

Elsewhere, crushing ballad “Respirate,” urges us to look out for and love each other, while the achingly

beautiful “Let” points towards the sad, repetitive loop many of us find ourselves in these days. “Time

began to feel less linear, almost palindromic. Two steps forward, two steps back,” he says. On the

thunderous "Swimming" Hall spins the scene of perseverance through a near death experience, while a

pilot is asleep at the wheel on the brash two-minute banger “Alaska.” The gripping “Cyclone” battles with

anguish, friction, and intrusive thoughts through biting guitars and rattling percussion, while Hall describes

spaced-out-folk album closer “Eleventh Hour” as “a phone call with a friend that goes to abstract places.”

Pointing towards hope, love, grief, and anger, 11:11 seizes listeners with feelings of warmth, urgency, and

soulful beauty – even as it asks some of life’s most difficult questions – through hook-filled songs that

bury themselves in the senses and stay there. “The album spends equal time on optimism, community,

reaffirming our human duty to look out for one another even in the absence of the people we expect to do

those things,” says Hall. “What if we have to be our own salvation?”

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Event Location

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The Beacham , Ages 12+

46 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL, 32801

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Talent

Pinegrove