Piney Gir - The Yearling (Truck Records)

Laura Bruneau | Monday, 07 September 2009

Piney Gir - The Yearling (Truck Records)

Storytelling is the key to Piney's appeal. Her enthralling brand of melancholic glamour draws you into a curiously tender world of drunkards, heartbreak and a menagerie of animals. Sure it's painful, but Piney somehow manages to make you feel good about being sad.

At her best there is more than a twinge of Kirsty McColl to Piney's tales of love and disappointment. 'Love Is A Lonely Thing' uses a gentle harp and wistful woodwind to create the mystical air of enchanting despair, worthy of a lost and lonely Disney princess forced to live in the cold reality of 21st century dating.

Deceptively deep, The Yearling begins from a place of hokey kitsch that is perfectly charming in a 1950s lift music way, but that begins to grate after about the third listen. Nevertheless, after the mid album lull of coma-inducing repetitive tracks such as 'Blixa Bargold's Bicycle', Piney manages to defy expectations and generate some incredibly heartfelt, well constructed and dangerously honest love songs.

'Weeping Machine' is a rousing rallying cry to everyone that has had the unfortunate experience of a much less that perfect lover and the necessary exorcism of their memory that follows. Haunting choirs of ethereal groans mimic the ghosts of exes long past that haunt us still.

Lute-like sultry tones mixed with Parisian accordion on 'There Was A Drunk' tugs at the heartstrings of a disengaged generation all too used to feelings of use and abuse without any hope of understanding. Contrasted with this is the adorable, light-hearted ditty that is 'Blithe Spirit'. Simplistic guitar mixed with cheeky, childish chimes and a skipping syncopated beat makes for a summery breeze through Piney's sunnier side.

Finishing the album with a flourish, 'For The Love Of Others' manages to meld Piney Gir's styles. Here we find a tune which effortlessly flows from sighing jazz horns to stripped down guitar led marching beats, finally incorporating gospel choirs to elevate your spirits in hymn-like exaltation.

Despite being Kansas-born, the red-haired vixen is now London based, so those of us in the South can be sure of the opportunity to catch her live show in the near future. If bitter sweet ballads are your thing then Piney Gir definitely merits a listen.

Rating: 3.5/5