Pity Sex Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor's Pity Sex built the world of White Hot Moon, their second album, inch-by-inch. The group, formed in 2011 by childhood friends and lifelong collaborators Sean St. Charles (co-lyricist/drums) and Brennan Greaves (vocals/guitar), came together explicitly to try its hand at writing pop songs. St. Charles and Greaves were putting their hardcore band to rest, enlisting Britty Drake (co-lyricist/vocals/guitar) and Brandan Pierce (bass) to round out Pity Sex's line-up. Now, the band is using the foundation of 2013's celebrated Feast of Love as the framework for something bigger, stronger, and altogether more monumental. Coming off of tours with Ceremony, Eskimeaux, and Colleen Green—including a run in Australia—the band dove into the studio with Feast of Love producer Will Yip to harness that momentum into an album to showcase Pity Sex's growth. And if White Hot Moon wears its ambition on its sleeve, that's by design: the band looked to wide-screen albums by Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth for inspiration in finding a bigger sound. That shows: Drake and Greaves spin huge webs of sound, anchored in shoegaze but branching off in a dozen directions, from fuzzed-out power-pop (“Bonhomie”) to shimmering balladry (“Dandelion”) and back again, while St. Charles and Pierce lock into step subtly counterintuitive rhythms and floor-shaking low-end.
That inclusive attitude toward songwriting fuels Pity Sex's creative fires. Drake’s more intimate and confessional songs complement St. Charles’s imagistic lyrics, and vice versa. This confluence enriches White Hot Moon and encourages compositional complexity and a shared affinity for pop solidity in equal measure. The record features some of the most directly collaborative songwriting in the band's career, and that spirit has taken them in exciting directions—often several at once, dipping into different stylistic touchstones while maintaining a constant, grounding sense of emotion throughout. As St. Charles explains, “We thought a lot about pop conventions and how they work, and we're purposefully playing around with that.” The result of this playful but dedicated approach to their craft: wherever you visit White Hot Moon, you'll come away refreshed, revitalized, and ready for Pity Sex to guide you along the rest of the trip.