13 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Boston indie rock band Pile’s sixth album is a genuine surprise. Stark but warm, dingy but pretty, Hairshirt recalls the dreamy side of ’80s Sonic Youth paired with a melancholy grandeur that could only be called Pile’s own. The sound is stripped down—bass, drums, guitar—but the songs are fragmented and surprising, taking detours through blues and post-punk (as on the labyrinthine “Rope’s Length”), Jesus Lizard-style churn (“Hairshirt”), and almost Beatles-esque gentleness (“Worms,” “Dogs”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

Boston indie rock band Pile’s sixth album is a genuine surprise. Stark but warm, dingy but pretty, Hairshirt recalls the dreamy side of ’80s Sonic Youth paired with a melancholy grandeur that could only be called Pile’s own. The sound is stripped down—bass, drums, guitar—but the songs are fragmented and surprising, taking detours through blues and post-punk (as on the labyrinthine “Rope’s Length”), Jesus Lizard-style churn (“Hairshirt”), and almost Beatles-esque gentleness (“Worms,” “Dogs”).

TITLE TIME
2:27
3:01
5:43
1:41
3:45
5:03
2:12
2:37
1:54
4:36
3:39
3:46
4:52

About Pile

Between their tireless D.I.Y. work ethic and constantly evolving sound, Boston's Pile have earned both a large homegrown following and the respect of their peers. Initially born as the solo project of Rick Maguire, the singer/guitarist issued a pair of rough but engaging lo-fi albums in the late 2000s that segued between experimental folk, jagged indie rock, and elements of the post-rock approach that the band would later become known for. Transforming Pile into a collective, Maguire assembled the full-time lineup of guitarist Matt Becker, bassist Matt Connery, and drummer Kris Kuss in 2010 and released Magic Isn't Real, establishing the dark and noisy tones that would become one of the group's hallmarks. Following a 2011 EP titled Big Web, Pile signed with Exploding in Sound and made their label debut with 2012's widely touted Dripping. The 7" release Special Snowflakes/Mama's Lipstick preceded 2015's You're Better Than This as the band continued a daunting touring schedule, hitting North America and Europe. With each release, Pile's sound continued to evolve, adding piano, banjo, and strings on 2017's A Hairshirt of Purpose, which ran the gamut from slow orchestrated tracks to massive noisy assaults. Jack White's Third Man label issued Pile's first live album, Live at Third Man Records, in late 2017. ~ Timothy Monger

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