I thought I had The Midnight Pine all figured out, based on the opening track of their third full-length LP, a self-titled collection of ten songs set for release on October 7th via The Redwoods Music.
I was enamored by the richness of vocalist Shelbi Bennett’s buttery alto conveyed in beautifully languid phrasing, which instantly called to mind the likes of the legendary Patsy Cline. I had visions of an empty dancehall illuminated by disco ball reflections featuring a chanteuse in an elegant gown behind a vintage standing microphone as yearning instrumentation carried the echoes of her voice into every corner of this imaginary room. I was pretty satisfied with myself, until I was completely caught off guard by the ominous groove of “Vice”, as Bennett confesses abject obsession over a soulful horn section and sizzling organ flourishes.
I quickly discovered that The Midnight Pine is not easily pigeonholed—each song has a different flavor, but the album is unified by the the dark folk’s band expertly-executed use of experimental noises and reverb-laden guitars to create a cinematically dreamy soundscape, featuring one of the most uniquely velveteen and captivating voices I’ve heard in ages.
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