Review Summary: Do you remember? I'd give my life if it would last forever
I recently wrote a paper about the idea of feeling nostalgic when listening to music. Although it’s obvious that songs you have heard before will make you feel nostalgic, I stumbled across the theory that music you have never heard before can also make you feel nostalgic. I wholeheartedly believe in this theory and Pity Sex’s newest album, White Hot Moon
, only helps justify it.
For me, fuzzy guitars and melancholic melodies give me a sense of nostalgia. Pity Sex keeps the distortion and shoegazey vibes at a 10 on this album, much like their past releases. The near-monotone, laid back style of singing is still present from both Britty and Brennan while the rest of the band supplements this with soaring melodies and tight rhythmic sections. However, the progression is present as both the song-writing abilities and lyrics have been elevated.
Songs like ‘Bonhomie’ and ‘Wappen Beggars’ showcase a newfound sense of dynamics and flourishing new ideas from the band. ‘A Satisfactory World for Reasonable People’ and ‘What Might Soothe You?’ sound a lot like something off of Feast of Love
with their shorter song lengths and eerily familiar, yet welcome harmonies and guitar riffs. Most of the album is extremely solid and consistent, and this would prove to be another great release from Pity Sex that leaves the listener with something left to be desired if it wasn’t for two songs.
I honestly can’t pinpoint what chords or melodies or chord progressions make me feel nostalgic, but I know for sure there’s some sort of pattern. It’s a beautiful thing when the music itself is able to make you feel a whirlwind of emotions, both new and recognizable ones. Maybe it’s just me, as music is incredibly subjective, but when Brennan and Britty end ‘Nothing Rips Through Me’ with their eerie, yet comforting “oohs”, I get a wave of intense nostalgia. The inherent catchiness of the closing melody is captivating and stunning, as both the guitars and the vocals foreshadow this beautiful closing to the song.
‘Plum’ proves to be a standout for similar, but ultimately different reasons. Within this track, Britty opens up to us about the time soon before her mother’s death, a surprisingly personal confession and a beautiful moment in the album. For once the band cuts back on the distortion and fuzz, clearing the air for Britty’s poignant yet somber lyrics, "My mother died in mid-June. And I knew, oh I knew. That day my father died too"
. The overarching plum metaphor is incredible as it both portrays the relationship between Britty and her mother and the subtle feelings of nostalgia in the summer.
As the album ends and the fuzz subsides I can’t help but feel an intoxicated-like state of longing and wistfulness, a bittersweet combination of yearning for the past because of the pleasant remembrances the past holds. It’s an intoxication I hope I’ll always be able to go back to when listening to music, but it’s also an intoxication that can just as easily become a part of the past, a new addition to my nostalgia.