Album Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 3/5
From Carosel’s opening track “Living with Depression”, which marries an Velvet Underground indie staccato rhythm, sweet Bluegrass harmonies and some striking real world lyrics, The Pine Hearts catch your attention. From the bowed bass notes at the start through the brooding ‘waiting for my man’ atmosphere there is real. The Pedal Steel “Let Me Down Easy” continues that interesting marriage, mixing Joey Capoccia’s and Kendl Winter dry vocals with warm pedal steel, banjo and fiddle. “Open Road” has some glorious vocal harmonies. “Good Luck by the Sea” is an up tempo glorious piece of Bluegrass with imagery around going blind, getting by and wry life lessons. “Back to Sustain” has another wonderful Joey vocal over a, riff that surreally nods to “Everybody’s Talking” as he delivers some melancholic lyrics in an atmospheric song. “Carousel Horses” paints pictures of “lost highways to ghost towns, vacant hotel lobbies and forgotten dreams” perfectly summing up the slightly surreal, eerie atmosphere that the album creates and inhabits. It’s the mix of nostalgia and slightly twisted reality in a Grant Wood painting. “Window From Above” takes the Carter Family stripped back music and adds a touch of weird like the Gothic tinged Handsome Family. “Holding On” is a wonderful layered song, offering hope, but it’s the dry desperate hope of people sitting on the roof watching the rising waters close in on them. It’s the slightly wry of dark lyrics over warm beautiful Bluegrass or Country music and lush vocal harmonies that makes The Pine Hearts an interesting listen.