Make a song too simple and you'll bore your listeners. But make it too complex and you'll confuse them. Strike the perfect balance and you'll find yourself doing donuts on the beach with the track on repeat.
This is exactly what we get from Pinegrove's newest single, "Intrepid." Careening into awareness with velvety guitar, snare brushes, and soft spoken vocals, I prepare for a heartsick ballad. But all at once: a pause and a thump. "Would you bet your life on it darling / If I did."
For a moment I get hints of John Mayer's Room for Squares as muted fingerpicking wobbles atop driving percussion. But as soon as it comes, any joviality is crushed by several waves of sickly crescendos. And the tempo changes again. Light electric guitar turns to powerful strumming, thumping like an engine. "Up in the early morning for no reason again."
The distorted propulsion, with just enough room for a breath, leaves me satiated. The track is a three and a half minute catharsis. Short and bittersweet.