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Pinegrove - Orange
May 24, 2022
Total plays:
51 times
Why do we like this?

Pinegrove’s earnest and angsty vibe lends itself well to songs about romance troubles, identity confusions, and other personal existential crises. So in “Orange,” the first single off their last album 11:11, it’s refreshing to hear the angriest song from the record grieving a larger issue— the horrors of the impending climate crisis and the refusal of politicians to implement effective policy.

"Orange" is a waltz in form, but it may not make you feel like jumping to your feet to swirl around a ballroom. Instead, you might try crying in 3/4 time. It’s slow, and lamenting, with Evan Stephens Hall’s voice beginning softly before swelling to a desperate wail for the refrain — “Today the sky is orange, and you and I know why” — an apparent allusion to the 2021 wildfires on the West Coast of the US.

Pinegrove’s genius shines through most clearly in their lyrics, which are sometimes cryptic but always chock full of allusions and references (to literature, pop culture, the band’s other songs, etc.) “Orange” is no exception. The song opens, “I try to wrap my head around an eye for an eye full of iodine,” a line which refers to the preceding song from 11:11, “Iodine.” In “Iodine,” Hall sings, “I’ll leak a bit of iodine from my eye,” itself a reference to a Billie Eilish music video that shows Eilish crying black tears. If that imagery doesn’t set the scene perfectly for “Orange,” nothing does.

But “Orange” is not depressing so much as cathartic. It’s not hopeless so much as acknowledging an unfortunate reality. And it does all this beautifully, through vocal harmonies building and releasing tension while percussion keeps a lagging beat before driving the tempo up to support Hall’s most impassioned chorals.

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