These days, it is expected that things happen quickly, whether it be a response to a text message or an artist releasing a new album, even if the one before it is only a year or so old. But the Pines is a group that likes to do things at its own pace, which means taking some time off from its forthcoming album for a 17-date tour with S Carey of Bon Iver.
“I think both groups try to create an ethereal space for the listener to get lost in, and in that way I think it really does fit well because it’s kind of a soundscape chance to lose yourself in, you know?” says frontman David Huckfelt, who started the band with Benson Ramsey and met Carey through the camaraderie of their hometown music scenes. “Minneapolis, where we live, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he’s from, have a very tight connection. Many Eau Claire musicians end up in Minneapolis.”
The band is touring in support of its haunting 2012 release Dark So Gold, making its way through some new markets—including Edmonton—before finishing off its next album, which Huckfeldt hopes to release sometime in early 2015.
“We’re really excited for this next record. I think we’ve made a lot of strides in our live performance and the way we approach songs and sounds, so it’s an exciting time,” says Huckfeldt, noting the Pines have had an ambiguous lineup of musicians over the past number of years, ranging in size from three to seven players. These days, it’s down to a solid four-piece.
“That’s really allowed us to bring a depth and a tightness to the music and go some places intuitively that’s a little bit more difficult to go when you’re constantly reconfiguring the band,” he says. “[With] as much touring as we’ve done behind Dark So Gold, you can’t help but lock into some really special places with the same players that you wouldn’t get to otherwise. So I think there’s a sense of feeling and delivery that we’re really enjoying these days.”
The album is in what Huckfeldt calls the collection phase, where all ideas are on the table and things can begin to unfold—there might be some new tunes played at the band’s upcoming show, but no promises. For the Pines, music is an extension of the band members’ lives, rather than an obsession, so there’s no pressure to churn out new material on any sort of time frame.
“I think that by taking a more patient approach and not necessarily trying to keep up with the music business per se, we’re getting in touch with maybe what you’d call the economy of songs, things in their purest form,” Huckfeldt explains, noting the goal of the new songs is to make them personal and confessional while still making them wide enough for anyone to find a place to reside in them. “I think when you stop listening to how people tell you you should be running a band or putting out records, then you really get a place where you can be in touch with the songs, and for us that’s everything. We live and die kind of by that code … I think when you’re on your own path it takes a lot of faith.”
Sat, Jun 28 (8 pm)
With S Carey
Brixx, $15.50 – $18.50