When Scott told me to listen to Pickwick and see what I thought about them since they have a new album coming out tomorrow, I wanted to make sure I gave them a fair shake so I spent a good deal of time listening to them. My music tastes can be described as very eclectic. At any given time, I’m listening to Marylin Manson, Muse, Johnny Cash, Justin Wells, and directly after, Bach. Then I’ll roll into Coltrane and find myself jonesing, for some reason, for Dr. Dre or Nas. I’ll round this all out with a musical. Rock, rap, folk, classical, alternative, WHATEVER – if it’s got a good beat, flowing lyrical content, and a decent melody, I’ll give it a listen.
My family is a musical one. My father’s dad, Dave Kannensohn, was jazz musician from a very young age to provide for his family during the Great Depression. He played until he was in his late 90s before he died. Music is what kept him going. My parents always had a substantial record collection in the house and I would spend hours listening to their stash with huge 1980s headphones affixed to my noggin. My first concert was Allman Brothers when everyone else was going to New Kids on The Block or Backstreet Boys (the latter I have seen…twice). My childhood was filled with concerts, music festivals, documentaries about musicians, and trips to JazzFest in New Orleans. Dad has a pretty substantial collection of JazzFest posters in his house. My daughter, Abigail, was given her great grandfather’s clarinet in his will, which we have primed and ready for her if she should choose to pursue it.
Enough about me! Onto Pickwick (which is really fun to say a lot). To ascertain if I really enjoyed their music, I listened to them in the car. They passed the test with flying colors with a smooth, cool sound and a nostalgic 1960/70s quality that I really can vibe to, especially while driving. “Turncoat” from their upcoming album, LoveJoys, got a fair deal of play while I was driving. I’m not that strong a driver, as my husband, Sam, can attest, so to have something calming but upbeat is a great boon. I’m a safe driver but good to the point where my husband doesn’t have a mild coronary every time we drive? Not really. Good music makes me a better driver, though, which I don’t understand but if it works, it works. Music is therapeutic and can effect people in many different ways. The Pickwicks are now on my playlist of songs I want to listen to when I need some chill time but still want to feel happy.
Sam says that I have a weird musical memory that I can remember lyrics and melodies for years, even after not hearing a particular song for a really long time. It’s a pretty useless talent but he’s not wrong. My ability to do this stems from not only from repetition and a good memory but from the cookie cutter quality to a lot of lyrics these days, making it easy to pick out patterns and guess fairly accurately what the next lyric is going to be, even if I haven’t ever heard the song before. A lot of music can be lyrical in a pretty kind of way but still be kind of boring. When it’s boring, it relies heavily on the instruments to carry it through and ensure someone doesn’t switch it off. Pickwick doesn’t write vapid lyrics, thankfully. Their lyrics are poetic, flowing, and interesting from a writer’s standpoint. There’s a reason for this: it comes from their souls. From their Facebook page:
Our new LP “LoveJoys” will be released into the wild tomorrow. This record marks a challenging time in all of our lives both personally & professionally. The “LoveJoys” sessions ended up turning into a giant group therapy session for all those involved. We fell in love with music again. We found solace in the creative process. Thanks for being so supportive of our band & sticking by us while we struggled to birth this sucker. Hope you like the record. It was really fun to make. We’re already working on the next one. We will be out on tour all Summer & Fall. Come say hi at one of the shows.
You can tell from the write up that they didn’t delve into this lightly and didn’t just throw together some compositions and slam them on a CD, hoping that one of the songs sticks and ensures a listener. Even if you don’t believe the write up becauses, like me, you’re skeptical, it’s easily backed up by their music itself – they put a lot of themselves into this and I don’t even know them.
I could go on and on about why I like what I’ve heard from their earlier work, their new album and whatnot, but that’s all time you could be spending checking them out and deciding for yourselves. I’m just here to present them as an option if you’re looking for a new band to which to listen. They might not be for everyone because not everyone is as musically bipolar as I am, but I do know of one household in which they will get a LOT of airplay.
Thanks for the two tracks you released so far, Pickwick – can’t wait to jam to the others tomorrow.
Facebook: Pickwick Music
Pre-Order The Album/Merch: KungFuStore.com