Pillar Saints is a quiet pack of local bards, and their eponymous album is full of intriguing pop-folk songs often flavored with milky sadness.
For instance, in “Pilots Dying Young,” the fingerpicking begins sleepily before it erupts into bright strumming, breaking open like sunlight across a hardwood floor. A few times the song picks up speed, sidetracks into country twang, and finally ends with the sound of a windstorm, muzzled by electronic blipping.
“Circles I Run From” displays the starkest contrasts, with the band’s familiar dreamy quality fanged in agitation and neurotic distress. Harmonica and trombone skim the surface of the composition, and bells fall in and out of the foreground. Sometimes a ’70s- style rock solo appears, other times a chorus of voices ambush what at first seemed like a solitary storyline.
With just five tracks, the album is a short but sweet endeavor, although though the band’s instrumental textures and darker tones prevent it from dissipating into too much sugary effervescence. If anything, Pillar Saints feels far away and secretive. But that’s exactly what makes it interesting—a wandering composition that’s definitely never lost. (Erika Fredrickson)
Pillar Saints plays the Badlander Monday, March 17, at 9 PM. Black Swans and Arrows to the Sun also appear. Free.