Songs We Love: Pity Sex, 'What Might Soothe You?'
What Might Soothe You?
What Might Soothe You?
With a name like Pity Sex, it wouldn't be wrong to giggle a little. But there's far more power in the Ann Arbor-based band than its self-deprecating, kinda-emo moniker suggests. On its 2013 full-length debut, Feast Of Love, Pity Sex unfurled a windswept blur of hurts-so-good distortion and frayed riffs. Submerged in sludgy, stormy songs like "Drown Me Out" and "Keep" were themes of anguish, disintegrating relationships and the desire for second chances, alongside lovely and winsome pop melodies that could mend broken hearts. Theirs is an enveloping sound, clearly indebted to shoegaze, hardcore and alt-rock bands the '90s, a familiar touchstone for many young musicians who either grew up with this music, or pored over their cooler older siblings' CD booklet when they weren't home. "What Might Soothe You?" is a new track that both picks up where Feast left off, and tantalizingly hints at what's to come.
Pity Sex's bittersweet template suitably matches the he-said/she-said dynamics at play in "What Might Soothe You?," a song about new love from both protagonists' points-of-view. Written by Sean St. Charles, Pity Sex's drummer/lyricist, sung by guitarists/vocalists Brennan Greaves and Britty Drake, the song finds the lovers making overtures to each other amid a blustery squall of guitars and Brandan Pierce's thick bass. Greaves' subdued voice acknowledges a deeply felt spark of attraction, pining "Stoop to hold me / Know what soothe means / Boundless beauty, always burning." Drake plays things more coyly, comparing him, romantically, to the company of a cat, singing "You're wild and you're sweet, you stay when you leave." And while things end on an lyrically elusive note ("I'll pull you down, where there's no one else around,"), "What Might Soothe You?" is all mood and intimacy.
Sean St. Charles helps ground the song's more poetic elements with this explanation of its origins:
"I was falling in love and life had begun to take on the hazy quality that it sometimes does. In those moments the line between what is possible and what feels possible goes askew. 'What Might Soothe You?' is a plea to the inaccessible other: 'Come down here, stay with me, let the dream dissipate later.'"
White Hot Moon is scheduled for Spring 2016, on Run For Cover.