Listen: Pengilly’s - Toby's Hill EP
Is it a bad thing that I don’t ‘feel’ or ‘get’ any of these new-wave grunge guitar bands? That I'm perhaps too lost in ethereal synths, or so desperately clinging to melody and emotional context that I really can't get behind the dreary wash of noise created by a room full of guitars? I know, the second coming of Brit-Pop didn’t exactly rain down fire and brimstone on the musical landscape in the way it was foretold by the prophets of industry (in reality a small group of people who perhaps should have known better). But even the credible guitar-ness coming from certain corners fails to hit the spot for me. It all just seems a bit, I don’t know, passionless? How can one seem so distant and detached from the heartbreak and dejection referenced so fruitfully in your lyrics? Is it cool not to give a shit about what you're singing?
I don’t buy it. For me the highlights of this year come from the people quietly tinkering away at the art they are pouring their heart and soul into - the resulting feelings are evident in the music they create. For example, people like Ric Hollingbery. No stranger on the indie scene, he has already collaborated with Summer Camp's Jeremy Warmsley, not to mention Emmy The Great. However, he seems to have found his calling with his own band, Leeds based outfit Pengilly’s, judging by this; the achingly beautiful ‘Toby’s Hill’.
Putting the lush video accompaniment aside for one second (no mean feat, the video is so eloquently shot and perfectly executed, you couldn’t imagine a better bed partner for the song) it’s the tracks deep vocal harmonies that instantly draw you in, and it’s the preacher-esque lead that totally knocks you out. Threadbare emotion is given feeling by strong soulful delivery, until it gives way to woozy synths, very Múm like - though I'd prefer to sum the whole experience by getting you to imagine Sigur Ros fronted by a gospel singer taken straight from the set of ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’.
Not convinced yet? Watch the video and prepare to join my side of the ‘anti-grunge-guitar-based music’ fence. What? It’s a thing. I'm just building it now, it’s made out of oversized Oxfam shirts donated by The Vaccines. It’s quite low, feel free to step over. There we go.
You can download this and the entire ‘Toby’s Hill’ EP via a ‘name your price’ offer over at their bandcamp page now (http://pengillys.bandcamp.com/). They next play live at Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club on Tuesday 30th August.
Photo Credit: Reece Leung
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