New album: Pigeon Pit || Feather River Canyon Blues

As stated in my AOTY list, I thought 2021 was a great year for music. If the early releases are any indication, 2022 seems destined to continue on that path. The Drolls and Sweet Knives already dropped great records, and here is another one. It is a record I found myself playing front-to-back this weekend while taking a walk outside in dreary weather – not skipping any of the songs. I am talking about Feather River Canyon Blues by Pigeon Pit, a band I admittedly hadn’t heard before.

I immediately warmed up to folky indie rock of Pigeon Pit, although I probably should also include emo, punk, bluegrass and country when describing the sound of the band. This broad range of musical genres may scream RED FLAG! to some, but Pigeon Pit pull it off and make it sound very natural. In addition to the classic drums, guitar and bass setup, Pigeon Pit tastefully incorporates the fiddle, pedal steel and banjo. Meanwhile, all 7 members of the band contribute vocals, giving the songs a communal feeling.

There are a lot of elements I enjoy about Feather River Canyon Blues. For one, the songs are as earnest as they are catchy. In their execution, Pigeon Pit kinda sounds like a mix of John K Samson/The Weakerthans, Nana Grizol, Pinegrove, Conor Oberst and Neutral Milk Hotel – all good in my book. Then there are the cool and slightly unnerving parts where multiple singers sing different lyrics over the same melody line, for example in the standout Milk Crates. Another strength of Pigeon Pit on this particular record is how they strike the perfect balance between more jubilant tracks and more introspective ones, giving the record exactly the right kind of flow that makes listening to the record such a rewarding experience. The sequence of Milk CratesThe RiverEmpties is a great example of this.

I can see myself playing this a lot this year!




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2 thoughts on “New album: Pigeon Pit || Feather River Canyon Blues”

  1. Hey there! I LOVE Pigeon Pit so very much ever since I first discovered their album Shut In.

    Additionally, when I discovered Pigeon Pit their music inspired me to begin playing and writing music again, which I had given up for several years whilst I was in a deep depression. I also want to add, your music taste and comparisons are spot on and Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes has actually been my favorite band for literally half of my life (since I was 14, and I’m now 28).

    I just wanted to say, I am no stranger to listening to Feather River Canyon Blues on repeat myself but it makes me so sad that this was the first album of their music that you heard. I strongly believe with this band it’s important to listen to Shut In, then Treehouse, and then Feather River. To me it leads into one another, listening in that order and hearing their original sound before hearing them find this very folksy punkish sound I believe is important. It’s a progression and a journey that you go on with them through the albums first to last and I think it really strengthens all of the albums as a whole just hearing that progression.

    They start with a different and more raw sound and really come into their own but I listen to all three albums repeatedly over and over again a lot of days. Just wanted to suggest you try listening all the way through in order from the first album shut in, then treehouse, then Feather River again and I think you will appreciate the journey too. Just a suggestion! Do with it what you will 🙂

  2. Also, check out their full band version of themselves under the band name Real Tree. It is the folks from Pigeon Pit with different versions of songs that are on their first 2 albums as well as 2 that weren’t. One of those two is Pisces but the other is called “Sleepover” which ended up being tweaked and made its way info Feather River Canyon Blues as the song “Empties” but despite being the same song as far as *almost* all the lyrics and the melody matching it is a completely different song as well since the sound is so different.

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