Sister Pinecone is a tad bit different than it’s “sister” (hehe) EP, Pears. The latter one, as I stated in my review for that, had more of a 60s pop sound. Sister Pinecone, however, would be the perfect soundtrack to hanging out in the basement while sipping on some extremely overpriced, widely circulated, heavily popular coffee while discussing politics, poetry and anything else super hipster. While still showcasing Michael Nau’s extraordinary songwriting ability, the music as a whole demonstrates that Page France is not a one-trick pony.
All I said about the combination of Nau and McGraw’s dueling vocals still holds true, but the music itself is a bit more “twangy” with a dash of groove. “No One Likes A Bleeder” and “Weatherman, Section Three” stuck with me from second one on the first listen. The first focuses a lot on the lyrics and main vocals while pinpointing what it is about Nau’s voice that makes the listener sink; it’s his words stirred with his boyish charisma and the steady rhythm of the drums and guitar dimmed a bit in the background that make it seem like they’re in the room performing a private show just for you. The latter is a buffet of everything each member has to offer; from tambourine, to whispering claps, to slow motion drumming, everything comes together to get you to sing-a-long and snap your fingers (tap your foot while you’re at it). “Passengers Laughing” quickly became a highlight in this listening experience after taking full notice of the precise use of the harmonica and good ol’ western-styled piano. Once again, the band shows they know how to keep the ear alert and paying attention from beginning to end.
While I feel Pears beats Sister Pinecone by a nose at the finish line, I still feel both were meant to go together, hand-in-hand. Both fit a particular mold and mood individually, but when combined can shape a whole new kind of feeling. The fact this group of musicians is able to write some of the most beautiful, honest music without compromising any of their integrity says a lot about the kind of people they are and their “movement.” The line “Everybody’s got a new song; I almost made something different, but I ain’t got that kind of drive – I’m fine with stealing someone else’s”, from “Weatherman, Section One,” couldn’t be any further from the truth for Nau and the rest of Page France. These two EPs, and the fact they’ll probably have another full-length by the end of the year, prove that if you put your heart and creativity behind your endeavors, then you can still have success while doing something different, original and exciting. All you other bands out there, take some tips from these guys – and girl.
i love both eps, but favor sister pinecone a little more because it is more like hello, dear wind. two albums that are hard to stop listening to. pear on the otherhand took a few listens to really get into, minus the saddest ones, cause it takes a slightly different approach. all in all, this band is amazing, and i'm sure towards the end of the year this band should be twice as big as they are now.