New album You Are Here
Out now via STRS Records
“Girlish but knowing on multi-textured guitar pop.” Mojo
“Woozy poptronica laden with generous hooks and warm vocals.”Uncut
14th Nov, The Water Rats, London (full band w/ Spearmint)
27th Nov, The Green Note, London (solo) 8th Dec, The Moon, Cardiff (full band w/ The School) 21st Dec, The Lexington, London (stripped down set w/ The School) 29th January, Sebright Arms, London (stripped down set w/ Ralfe Band)
iney Gir’s newest offering You Are Here (released last Friday, 1 November) sees her creating art-pop, featuring spikes and spaces with the help of her trusty vintage Eventide (which Tony Visconti famously said “Fucks with the fabric of time” before putting lashings of it all over Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy).
This tool gave Piney the wherewithal to take the listener to a more angular place echoing the darkness on the record. It has been a weird time for everyone, with Trump and Brexit and #metoo causing chaos; Piney wrote a record about this collective experience, both broadly relatable and intimately personal. You Are Here is an ode to self-care and preserving mental health in the face of adversity, it’s an album celebrating silver linings while still acknowledging the dark clouds. There are echoes of the signature Piney sound, with strong melodies, tuneful riffs and lyrics that sound sweet at first listen and evolve to a kind of dark & twisted storytelling. Piney’s inner Laura Palmer emerges here with a tender bitter-sweetness, reminiscent of post punk basement bars and cherry martinis.
For the past three years she has been a singer in Gaz Coombes’ band and had the privilege of supporting him on tour around the UK, Europe and America, she also toured with Ride and sang with Noel Gallagher on tour and on his forthcoming singles.
She has shared various singles from the album including; “The Great Pretend“, a song about a wild night Piney had with author Neal Strauss (who wrote The Dirt, The Game, The Truth) in Rick Ruben‘s tree house in Malibu, where she drank her first Pickleback and met a wild menagerie of people from ex-porn-stars to music industry moguls. “The Great Pretend” captures a feeling that is half imposter syndrome and half glitterati. The video is by Newler Films and is inspired by iconic 60’s film Blow Up.
“Dreamcatcher” is inspired by a magical trip in the Joshua Tree desert, where Piney has spent some time playing among the cactus and staring at the stars. The wild and wily landscape is a metaphor for the risk and uncertainty of love and love lost, the road trip metaphor inspired Geoff Howell to create an animated video giving a nod to Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas complete with tripping, violent penguins.
“Peanut Butter Malt Shop Hearthrob” s a surreal dream pop, crooning ballad, channelling her inner love of all things wholesome and simpler times, with a twisted-dark, cinematic undercurrent. The video was created by Penny Andrea and Poppy Illsley featuring Piney as an assistant in a tropical fish and aquarium shop, lamenting a love lost, imagining her Prince Charming, blurring the lines of day job doldrums and doo wop daydreams.
“Admiral Fleets” celebrates flower power and retro-psych pop with soaring, sunny Beach Boy-inspired harmonies laden with Mellotron, mixed with spiky synths and wailing sax worthy of Roxy Music. The video is directed by Nicholas Broten from the band Fonda 500, former label mates of Piney’s back in the Truck Records days, they still do shows together as part of the same musical family tree.
The latest single she shared was “Variety Show” a crooning duet with Sweet Baboo capturing a Stranger-Things-inspired synth world with an 80’s-style sax solo worthy of the Top Gun soundtrack or the ethereal thrall of Twin Peaks. Originally hailing from Kansas but having lived in London for many years, Piney is a prolific and prodigious musician. You Are Here is Piney’s seventh record and it’s her most realised one yet. From the wide-eyed debut Peakahokahoo, through to The Piney Gir Country Roadshow period, the folktronic fusion of The Yearling, the retro psych pop of Geronimo! and 2015’s mR. hYDE’S wILD rIDE, Piney has evolved and deepened her trademark sweetness-with-strychnine aesthetic. She has gained substantial critical acclaim and a devoted fan-base.
Joining her in the studio for You Are Here is her regular collaborator and guitar player, Garo Nahoulakian (who also plays in Gaz Coombes’ band), in addition to the “Variety Show” duet, Moshi Moshi pop darling Sweet Baboo appears on the album, playing saxophone on “Peanut Butter Malt Shop Heartthrob” and “Dreamcatcher” and Willie J Healey sings guest vocals on “Puppy Love.”
The album was nearly called “It’s Been A Shit Year For Everyone ” but she changed the title to You Are Here, because it has a zen and mindful quality to it. Through all the hardship, the album is essentially about rebirth and looking ahead to happier times. As Piney explains; “I didn’t want to surrender to the darkness. This album has a fighting spirit to it. Sometimes we need to look at the difficult stuff head-on and give ourselves a little pep talk, chances are you’re not alone. You are here and so am I.”
Piney Gir You Are Here Tracklisting
1. Admiral Fleets
2. The Great Pretend
3. Puppy Love
4. Peanut Butter Malt Shop Heartthrob
6. Variety Show
8. Little Cop
9. We’ll Always Have Paris