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Pelican: Nighttime Stories

This album reflects on human tragedy in ways that give the music greater depth, urgency, and despair. The title was originally planned for a project by Tusk, a band that includes several members of Pelican. Unfortunately, vocalist Jody Minnoch died unexpectedly and so Pelican decided to use the title to honor their friend and colleague. They also drew on Minnoch’s notes, including ideas for song titles, as inspiration for what you’ll hear if you listen to Nighttime Stories. As Pelican began working out songs for this album, Dallas Thomas, the band’s newest member, lost his father. The opening track “W.S.T” pays tribute to Dallas’s father. If you listen, you’ll hear Dallas playing his father’s Yamaha acoustic guitar on the track.

In the midst of all this tragedy, Pelican brought together a set of songs that are darker, perhaps even edgier, than much of what they’ve done lately. This is not to say the album is exclusively dark; Pelican was always good at delivering contrast and nuance and this album has plenty of both. But this album definitely has teeth. I’m thinking mostly of the stellar “Midnight and Mescaline,” but I could just as easily mention “Nighttime Stories” and its brutal opening riff. I’d also recommend “Full Moon, Black Water,” a song that starts out as calm as can be but quickly shifts into an impressive and urgent guitar attack that eventually settles into a catchy and hopeful melody that carries us to an even calmer end. Pelican has always been a terrific band, but this album definitely marks a new high for them. It’s not easy to turn tragedy into hope, but they’ve done something like that here.

Track Listing:
1. WST
2. Midnight and Mescaline
3. Abyssal Plain
4. Cold Hope
5. It Stared At Me
6. Nighttime Stories
7. Arteries of Blacktop
8. Full Moon, Black Water

Added: September 25th 2019
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 761
Language: english

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