In the music world, indie-pop electronica albums are like Starbucks; there’s one on every corner. So what sets Seattle band Pillar Point and its self-titled debut album apart from the rest? It blends the bright, fast beats and optimistic melodies of bands like The Naked and Famous with smooth, airy vocals reminiscent of Win Butler (Arcade Fire). But Pillar Point is much less in-your-face than other bands. It trades blatant lyrics and assertive beats for a more inconspicuous feel, and in doing so, evokes every emotion from melancholy to exhilaration. The music and lyrics are rather understated, a quality that many of us music consumers who miss the subtlety of music will most certainly appreciate.
While Pillar Point may be a new act to the music scene, the musician behind the project, Scott Reitherman, formerly of Throw Me The Statue, certainly is not. While his musical prowess and experience are evident, he is not afraid to deviate from his usual sounds and winds the music down an unbeaten path in this new album, out February 25th on Polyvinyl Records.
Songs like “Diamond Mine” and “Eyeballs,” at first listen, are instant dance classics, with quick beats that often change pace layered on top of buoyant synth melodies. But Reitherman’s vocals lend an ethereal, vaporous quality to the tracks and are often interjected with smoky, almost hypnotic bridges. Other songs, such as “Cherry” and “Dreamin’” slow down the pace a bit with mellow, dreamy melodies and lyrics that speak intimately of love and heartbreak. Reitherman displays childlike curiosity and playful innocence evocative of our first crush in “Curious of You”, complete with a sneakily woven Blondie reference in the melody and lyrics. Alternately, he tells of love with a distant, experienced wisdom on the next track (“Echoes”).
Listening to Pillar Point feels like floating over the rest of the electronic music we find out there today, dreamily and distantly enjoying the beats, yet also taking time to ponder the profound lyrics. Upon listening to the entire album, it feels as though you have come upon something truly great in a very delicate way. Perhaps the best way to describe Pillar Point is in its own lyrics from “Black Hole.” To listen to this album is “to sleepwalk through a lost empire.”