American trio, started in 2008 as a duo by two guitarists, Steve and Brett, former members of Marquette, now joined by Josiah.
Their first album has been highly noticed among other midwest emo revivalists, as they were doing already much more than simply emulate American Football and consorts. They are back with a new EP, featuring three sophisticated math-emo-pop songs.
The result is impressive but sometimes lacks of clarity, like the American Football meets Aloha intro of Octopus. Each song is efficient, but the second half of the third one from 1:44 to 4:33, "Bed Bugs" really makes a distance and propel them somewhere else.
The two of them are singing in a relatively similar way generally, but there, suddenly an inflection appears which literally transcends their songwriting and pushes them in a new direction more quiet, introvert, subtle and highly sensitive and refined. It simply makes the other songs secondary.
"As this morning turns into a day, that I waste again, you're growing up, and growing away, from me" repeated three times and followed by a magnificent crescendo of guitars as a conclusion.
Suddenly, not only you think of an improved American Football, but also of the most graceful side of Idaho..
Lyrics and vocals are pure and simple, music is limpid and moving, and really there you're somewhere else, in both familiar and unknown territory, facing the sky and the sea. It's a subtle drift in the vocals but the effect is prodigious, making the rest of the EP just technically efficient.
Not only they are talented, but now Penpal is ready to write a few new pages in a recent musical history whose they acquired a mastership. I hope they will choose the direction of epure. "Postscript EP" is a nice twinkle emo record and on the second part of their last song, they find their perfect harmony and become a reference themselves.