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Dark So Gold
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  • Dark So Gold is the fourth album by indie folk act the Pines, and it finds them moving into increasingly moodier, more melancholy territory. While their earlier recordings weren't exactly overflowing with sunny, perky tunes, Dark So Gold is real dark-night-of-the-soul stuff, an album tailor-made for sitting up late at night and ruminating over existential questions. Singers, songwriters, and guitarists Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt are the core of the Pines. The former is the son of guitarist extraordinaire Bo Ramsey, famed for his work with Greg Brown and Lucinda Williams. The elder Ramsey co-produced Dark So Gold along with the band, and while his organic, artfully weathered guitar sound isn't literally present on the album, its ragged-but-rich textures are an undeniable influence on the proceedings. (Yet another Ramsey, Benson's brother Alex, is the Pines' keyboard player). Throughout the record, a hushed mix of acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards creates a kind of haunted landscape over which the ghosts of the songs gracefully float. The lyrics, which are frequently filled with evocative, post-Dylan imagery, find the writers looking out across a world that seems to be falling apart around them as they scrabble through the wreckage searching for the safest haven to hide their own imperiled souls. It's not exactly road-trip music, unless you want to go careening off the side of the highway, but Dark So Gold is nevertheless an affecting portrait capturing an American journey, one that takes place mostly inside the makers of the music. ~ J. Allen
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