We’re newly obsessed with Ann Arbor’s shoegaze-pop project Pity Sex.
Alt-shoegaze outfit Pity Sex have the ’90s on lock, and it’s not just because they’re channeling everyone from Dinosaur Jr.’s crunchy guitars to My Bloody Valentine circa 1991 to The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart circa 2008. Additionally, the Ann Arbor, Mich. four-piece seem to have joined a larger musical movement where twentysomething bands do little else BUT remember the ’90s (see: Speedy Ortiz, Waxahatchee, Cheatahs). Nostalgia’s always been en vogue, but Pity Sex pull it off in a, erm, satisfying way on their new album, Feast Of Love.
Listen to Pity Sex’s “Feast Of Love” after the jump.
Feast Of Love’s most fulfilling song is by far its opener, “Wind-Up.” Catchy to its core, “Wind-Up” features fast-paced, crashing percussion, bittersweet, whining guitar solos, anxious lyrics, and a disheartening message: “Don’t come too close/ Don’t try to know me/ ’Cause there’s nothing to know/ Wind me up and let me go/ Wind me up and let me go.” (Raise your hand if you’re having OKCupid flashbacks.)
After its opening cut, Feast Of Love grows increasingly more solemn. With the exception of “Honey Pot” and “Drawstring,” Pity Sex opt for shoegaze over eye contact, and judging by songs like “Keep,” “Hollow Body,” and “St. John’s Wort,” the band’s just not ready to love again.
“Keep,” a midtempo, distorted track, showcases Britty Drake’s cool, detached vocals, but its lyrics are painfully self-deprecating: “I’ve been alone a while/ Still want you back by my side/ I’ll understand if you would rather leave me behind.”
Things get lonelier still on “Hollow Body,” which is at its core a minimalist ode to that proverbial hole in one’s broken heart: “You live in my cavities/ Empty spaces of my body/ Your voice/ Your memory/ Planted deep/ A pit inside me.”
Though Feast Of Love is moodier than menopausal teenager, Pity Sex is remarkably good at breathing new life into retro genres. Truth be told, darkened rooms, emotional black holes, Weezer “In The Garage” binges, and general isolation never sounded so good, especially when they’re blanketed with winding ’90s guitar solos and comfortably numb haze ’n’ gaze. Just have your therapist’s number on speed dial before you press “play,” OK?
+ Listen to Pity Sex’s “Feast Of Love.”
Photo credit: Run For Cover Records