Album Review: Hartwick Pines – “Melancholia” EP

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Spring, summer, winter and fall are something that we go through every year and everyone has a favorite season. However, when it isn’t your favorite season you might feel a little bummed. Well, that’s the story behind Hartwick Pines’ new EP Melancholia. The central idea throughout this album is love and the time before the sadness that one might feel before autumn. Hartwick Pines is an indie rock/pop band originally from Minnesota but are now living in Los Angeles.

The EP consists of 4 incredibly good songs that have really nice instrumentation that you wouldn’t always hear. The various instruments on the EP make you listen a lot more intently to the songs and the lyrics as well.

The first song on the EP is “Heartland”. It starts the album out slowly with a piano and vocals and that’s it for the first half of the song. The fact that there’s only vocals and piano for the first part is really nice. It gives you a chance to hear the vocals. The song changes around the 2 minute, 40 second mark and goes into a buildup with some string instruments and is something that you don’t always get to hear. Ryan Menghini, the frontman for the band stated that “Heartland is basically a ballad to growing up in the Midwest. It’s a different atmosphere that only folks in the Midwest can relate to.” I’ve lived in Southern California all my life but if you live in the Midwest, I think you would understand this song.”

My favorite songs on the album were the songs “Lillian” and “All’s Well”.  “Lillian” reminded me of some other bands that I really like, but with twists on it that those other bands don’t have. It had some soft trumpet parts in the song which reminded me of when I used to played the trumpet. The guitar solo was really what drew me into this song. It is not what you would expect in this song but it totally works, it’s an unexpected twist.

“All’s Well” was good because it sounded like the vocalist changed the way he was singing on this song. His voice sounds a lot deeper than the other songs and the change sounded really nice. The song features the singers vocals really well because it has a lot of powerful vocal runs during the chorus. Similar to “Heartland”, it is simple when it comes to the instruments, “All’s Well” is just the vocalist and a guitar for most of the song. To me this song sounds like the lead singer is singing about losing someone as a friend or breaking up with someone. The last line of the song is “Still can’t believe you gave up”, that’s a pretty powerful line to end a song on. You can definitely hear the emotion in the singer’s voice throughout the song and definitley at the end.

Melancholia as a whole is very good and it is really well done. I would suggest adding this to your normal listening playlist. As a person who lives in Southern California in a city that is close to the beach, it’s nice to hear a different perspective about seasons considering that there really are no seasons in Southern California.

  1. Heartland
  2. Lillian
  3. All’s Well
  4. Connotations

Listen to Melancholia here

Post by Madeline Cronin

What are your thoughts on this Hartwick Pines EP ? Comment below.

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