Review Summary: Wait for Love heralds a chapter closing and another opening in the life of a band that refuses to settle or stagnate in past adversities.
It’s 3:30am and I’m in bed, yet awake, and Bay of Dreams
is washing over me like the light of a fading sunset over calm water, just as the title would suggest. It’s dreamy, nostalgic, and contains a slight haunting touch. It plays out like an interlude, only it’s not, as its length maintains the average of the other tracks. It’s unexpectedly beautiful, smack in the middle of the album. It’s also arguably the softest or most tranquil Pianos have ever been, but everything heard thus far justifies arriving at this point of time coming to a crawl.
Since Pianos Become The Teeth’s well-documented grand departure from a band with few restraints and plenty of grief to blast listeners with, they have come to know measured catharsis; well-paced moody journeys that build to emotional, crushing conclusion in an original way by not blowing the gaskets on all fronts. This exchange has also effectively divided their fan base. For those that have wished to see Pianos through in their search for closure: Wait for Love
is the sound of a band coming full circle, and a narrative on the all-too-relatable forces driving our hearts, along with those same forces that can stand to be as unique as our individuality… and everything in between. It is soaring and provocative, challenging the norms of whatever classification one might care to bottle the group in, and it heralds a chapter closing and another opening in the life of a band that refuses to settle or stagnate in past adversities.
I’m sitting in a lounge late Monday night with some close friends, and it’s “music video request night.” I suggest to the makeshift DJ that, if he’s lacking in material, he play the video-trilogy that is Pianos’ 1-2-3 line up of Charisma, Bitter Red, and Love on Repeat.
He does. It’s a story that follows two lovers, swept up in a rapid chain of events that sees their love dovetail and spiral out of their control. My friend lets out an “Ah!” as the lightbulb flicks on: a twist in the dying seconds of Love on Repeat,
and suddenly a bigger realization of this album’s content and meaning for him. He’s glued to the screen and admittedly, so am I, despite having seen it multiple times already. The adventure of these two lovers just clings to the soul, and pairs so well with the songs, creating a visual representation and choreographic interpretation of the band’s take on love and its expanse on our lives. There is nothing soft, boring or monotone about the blinding hits of Love on Repeat’s
finale, or the reminiscence of church bells in Bitter Red’s
chorus and outro, heralding a new time, an event only considered and now proceeding uncontrollably into motion.
Kyle Durfey’s performance is emboldened by his vast consideration of album’s theme, exploring the human experience of love in all forms, whether it be the infatuation of a stranger’s glance, the shared creation of life, or of the eternal bonds brought by blood. The words are personal, and the message is clear, but the translation often leaves ideas on the table to interpret and fabricate a relation. Lyrically, this is Pianos at their most accessible, and it feels really good. Fake Lighting
shows Durfey’s recount of those moments, riddled with anxiety and crippling uncertainty, where we spill our deepest vulnerabilities to those that have driven our hearts and imaginations wild. His voice stresses the gravity of these instances when he belts out the chorus with dedicated strength:
“So come confess
Something dire and nothing less
And hold your breath.
So hang your head
this language like acid in your chest
we wait for love
tradition can’t be kept.”
When or if it's not Durfey that's wooing the listener, a common agreement on Wait For Love’s
final output is that the drumming is a standard-setter. Track after track, David Haik redefines intensive and original percussive rhythm. He builds momentum and expels it at all the right intervals. One can hear it straight from the get-go, and again on verse two of Bitter Red
. It prevails on Charisma
and Love on Repeat
and takes a highly effective back seat on Blue
, splashing and rippling out into the feedback.
It's 8:56pm and I'm getting off the bus, en route to a friend's house to spend a Friday night, and I've listened to this album straight through from the start to its moving conclusion: Blue
. Almost too perfectly, the song ends its run right as I reach the doorstep of my destination, but the feeling it emits is far from over. It's lyrics and long-lasting guitar medley have me pondering some fairly vast (and admittedly somewhat cliché) questions: what happens when we die, and what, if anything, do we pass along in our most intrinsic elements to the generations that follow？ These queries couldn't be more relevant in such a time when my life as a nonparent is about to end. Since then, I can still only wonder: who is behind the blue eyes that stare at me in the early morning light？ Does he come from somewhere？ Is he bringing something with him from a time before me？ Who will he come to be？
And at that, Wait for Love
becomes so startlingly important that there's no denying its effect, it's potential objectives almost if not fully achieved in my mind. Where once there may have been no regard or curiosity for such things, the full scope of love's potential, there is now a sky lit with wonder by the distant shimmering of stars and systems. Had Pianos' musical direction not been so on-point with events in my life, I may too be like a number of people questioning all reasoning behind Wait for Love.
I can't ask for more relevant circumstances, and in this case, asking wouldn't do anything anyway. You can't fabricate a more timely concurrence of events. Call it what you want: luck, fate, circumstance. Regardless, it's what Wait for Love demands in return for its appreciation: an open heart, an urge to relate, and a willingness to move forward. Without those, one may as well be stuck where the band began their expedition.