The Pickups – CD, Beautifully Misguided Records

I don’t know if I will remember this album twelve months from now. I will, however, never be able to forget this line from the song Highway: “I dream of Tim Hortons still / when I’m leaning on my windowsill.” Songwriter and singer Sarah Greene is someone who doesn’t have to look outside of the quotidian to find the marvelous and inspirational. Her characters are all searching for a way out of their dull routines and Greene points the way — going on picnics, sitting in a bar downtown, or driving along the highway. The Pickups’ musical reference points include Yo La Tengo, The Beatles, Mazzy Star, and The Cowboy Junkies. Greene’s flat delivery works with the content of the lyrics, but when the band tries to sing harmonies their voices are neither pure enough to be sublime nor gritty and insistent enough to be plangent. At their sweetest and grittiest on Someday, the band’s harmonies really chime and the guitars chug along with determination and bark with excitement. But sometimes they fall into a mid-tempo lope that tends to the soporific or the harmonies fall out of focus and become grating. (Erik Weisengruber)

www.thepickups.ca, www.bemisguidedrecords.ca

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