Ann Arbor quartet PITY SEX released the video for their track “Burden You” off their sophomore album White Hot Moon today. White Hot Moon was released in spring 2016 on Run For Cover Records to praise from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, NYLON, New Yorker and more music magazines, including our little webzine of IDIOTEQ. The band have also announced an indefinite hiatus following their world tour supporting the record, simply saying “We’ll be taking an indefinite hiatus from this project. Thank you for all the support. See you on the other side.”
PLAYLAB, INC. visualized the burden of relationships in a music video for Pity Sex’s lead single ‘Burden You’. The abstract video features an exhausted older woman slowly pushing a mound of bags that are tied to a grocery cart through a city’s streets while people look on.
Photo by Joel Rakowski
Produced by Will Yip, the 12 original songs of ‘White Hot Moon’ showcase some of the most collaborative songwriting in the band’s career, and that spirit has taken them in exciting directions – often several at once, dipping into different stylistic touchstones while maintaining a constant, grounding sense of emotion throughout. Guitarists Britty Drake and Brennan Greaves spin huge webs of sound, anchored in shoegaze but branching off in a dozen directions, from fuzzed-out power-pop (“Bonhomie”) to shimmering balladry (“Dandelion”) and back again, while co-lyricist/drummer Sean St. Charles and bassist Brandan Pierce lock into step with floor-shaking low-end and subtly counterintuitive rhythms. Drake brings an immediacy to her intimate, fearlessly personal songs—check the quietly devastating revelation of a recent loss in the opening moments of “Plum”—guided by her airy, hypnotic vocals. Meanwhile, Greaves’ guitar parts bring gravity to St. Charles’ more imagistic lyrics, his voice effortlessly segueing from baritone counterpoint for Drake to an evocative, confident croon. Together, as on highlight “What Might Soothe You,” their voices bob and weave around each other in innervating tension before melting into harmony.
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It’s these two distinct attitudes toward songwriting that fuel Pity Sex’s creative fires, with Drake and St. Charles not so much competing as complementing one another’s style, a confluence that enriches ‘White Hot Moon’ and encourages compositional complexity and a shared affinity for pop solidity in equal measure. For instance, St. Charles and Drake both offer takes on romantic longing in “Bonhomie” and “Burden You,” respectively, and while St. Charles’ lyrics offer a more metaphorical vision of being hung up on love (“Electric tape for you, / Bound arms and legs for you”), Drake cuts to the quick with a sharp directness (“I want your summer’s salty skin, / Without yours, mine is wearing thin”) that levels the listener in equal measure. As St. Charles puts it, “It’s the idea that you can take a mundane life, and it becomes different in a slightly ‘off’ world—like, you spend winter sitting in your room everyday, and the details around you become boring. But in those instances, the smaller peculiarities stand out. The little details become more meaningful.”
But Drake has her own approach to the songs she brings to the band. “I’m not interested in hearing about someone’s mundane day-to-day life,” she says. “Love and relationships—not just romantic relationships, but in general—are things everyone can relate to, and I tend to gravitate towards universal experiences. People are the main inspiration for me.” The result: wherever you visit ‘White Hot Moon,’ you’ll come away refreshed, revitalized, and ready for Pity Sex to guide you along the rest of the trip.
“What Might Soothe You?” is a new track that tantalizingly hints at what’s to come.” -NPR
“The band has never sounded so desolate, or more distinctly themselves.” -Rolling Stone
“A surging and tempestuous relationship song.” -Stereogum
“[Ann Arbor’s] finest hitters of that post-Siamese Dream dream-rock sweet spot.” -SPIN