Listen to LoveJoys, the sophomore release from Seattle, WA’s Pickwick, and you’ll hear a band that has pushed aside external pressures and expectations, overcome internal demons, and plugged directly into their own creative center. Slinky, sinewy, and articulate, the record pulses with a palpable confidence. Hypnotically intricate, just-right sonic ornamentation shimmers around a thick, undulating bed of propulsive rhythm.
Following the breakout success of 2013’s self-released Can’t Talk Medicine (which WXPN lauded for its “wonderfully engaging lo-fi rock and soul”) the band found themselves on national tours with Neko Case and Black Joe Lewis, performing on the main stage of the Sasquatch Music Festival, headlining the Capitol Hill Block Party, and performing alongside with the Seattle Symphony. They holed up to begin work on what was to be the follow-up release, and things got complicated.
As the band was forty songs into writing a pop R&B record, they became deeply unsatisfied with the direction the music was taking. Tensions boiled over, and they lost a member in 2016. Walking away from a mountain of music, the group was able to tap into the joy of writing for themselves. “We rediscovered what we do best by not overthinking what we make, and learned to love the process of creating again” relates vocalist Galen Disston. “LoveJoys is a specific type of euphoria,” says drummer Alex Westcoat “a liberating feeling of inspiration that can only be achieved through the sacrifice of one’s own ambition. It is the shedding of expectations; an uninhibited escape into a world of child-like infatuation and wonder.”
Glide is premiering “Touch Spines” off LoveJoys (below), a track that fits the bill with a wondrous fusion of pop hooks and quivering rock that recalls Foals, Cold War Kids and its own dab of Radiohead’s experimentalism mixed with something we’ll call “Pickwick Special.”
“Touch Spines” like most of the lyrics on LoveJoys is inspired by a subconscious fear of uncertainty, loss and betrayal, “says Disston. “This song, in particular, is about losing a friend, but someone you’ve loved, trusted and worked alongside. The betrayal that follows is complicated; the depth between two people can play tricks on you when the illusion of safety is lifted.”
“This song has one of my favorite of Erik Blood’s techniques: there is a huge cement storage room separate from his studio that he pumps audio into to get spooky, deep reverb. The “want it, need it…” parts of the song were treated that way and suit the loss in the lyrics better than I could have envisioned.”