Fully Digested #2: Pianos Become The Teeth, ‘Keep You’
We’re in the middle of December now. Snow is falling from the sky, the air is blistering cold, and everything is dying. The weather has a huge impact on my general mood, and I know I’m not alone in that. When it’s cold outside, when we’re in the trenches of winter, I look for music that reflects the mindset that I’m in. I want the music I’m listening to to be thoughtful, brooding, hyper-personal, and somehow still tangible.
Pianos Become The Teeth have spent their career perfecting that craft. The band has always been emotionally driven, and the performance has always expressed that. Listening to the screams that were once their signature became a form of catharsis. As I’m sure you’re well aware by now, Pianos has made the decision to trade in those screams for a more subdued clean vocal that has taken the band above and beyond any of their previous work.
These vocals were debuted on a split with Touche Amore on a song called “Hiding.” They were uneasy and fumbling, but they our first listen at clean vocals for this band. It was flooring, and I couldn’t wait for more. I remember hearing lead single “Repine” for the first time and being completely blown away. I just remember being anxious to hear the whole record. I needed to see how this paired with the songs they’d already written.
<a href=“http://pianosbecometheteeth.bandcamp.com/album/keep-you” data-mce-href=“http://pianosbecometheteeth.bandcamp.com/album/keep-you”>Keep You by Pianos Become The Teeth</a>
It’s no secret that Pianos Become The Teeth has been writing mainly on how Kyle [Durfey, vocalist] has dealt with the loss of his father. I have lost loved ones, but never someone as immediate as a parent. I can’t imagine how lost I would feel if that were the case. However, it’s the unease and the overbearing grief that has come with his loss that shine through and make me feel that connection. And that shift in sound you’ve seen countless reviewers talk about has only made this connection stronger. I’m not trying to figure out what he’s saying, I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the weight of it.
I wish that I could express the exact emotion I felt when I first heard Kyle singing “I wear a stock smile so well, but who deals with anything like this well? And if it’s true, here’s me telling you, and here’s me glad as hell that you’ll never know, and I think I lost my way, and either I stopped caring, or I’ve been looking for it ever since and maybe those two go hand in hand” in “Lesions” because those are some of the most personally gut wrenching lyrics on the record.
The thing about this record is that the first time you listen to it, it’s going to feel unsettling. The only thing keeping you listening are those painfully solemn vocals that you can’t help but to resonate with. You will trudge through, and it’s not until you’re almost done with the record that you realize what a true masterpiece it is.
Pianos Become The Teeth have take the emotion once communicated through cathartic screams and translated them into a defeated story of acceptance and heartache. ‘Keep You’ is one of the best album released this year, and it almost took my number one spot. I am so excited for this change to Pianos Become The Teeth and I can’t wait to see what comes next. Even if I’m kind of hoping for a certain tour.
We’ll talk about that later.