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PINHDAR – A SPARKLE ON THE DARK WATER (Fruits de Mer Records/ Bandcamp – LP released on 13th August, 2024)

Electronica, dream pop, shoegaze, darkwave, trip-hop, art rock, comparisons with THE CURE, Pinhdar have been creating quite a stir in musical circles, pausing in Bristol to complete recordings for this album. They are actually a duo of CECILIA MIRAPOLI, the singer and lyricist and MAX TARENZI (with drummer Allesandro Baris) and their name is derived from a lyric poet from Thebes called Pindaro. ‘Little Light’ is a standout from the first side of the album, which in terms of production, lyric and overall ambience could have been a lost track by KATE BUSH; it’s also one of three singles from the album along with ‘Humans’: “We are only humans between darkness and light” who know they’ll “vanish like a flower”, part narrated, an incessant foreboding drum beat with, once again atmospheric synth and guitar. I don’t know what their influences are but ‘Murders of a Dying God’ also made me think of Kate Bush in a nice kind of way with some atmospheric synth and beats; it’s also the longest number at around six minutes. ‘Solanin’, with its added strings, has an alluring charm illustrating Ms Mirapoli’s skill in the role of storyteller; the ruminating synth denouement bringing to an end a track that could have gone on longer. ‘Frozen Roses’ is the final Bandcamp single from the album, a wonderfully conceived metaphor for “an immobile present” with “young lives that do not see a future” who are “trapped in the ice of an uncertain destiny.” We can all identify with that! I excepted ‘Abysses’ to be a darker song than it was: that’s the thing about the music, despite the dark voices in the singer’s head it has a strangely uplifting effect on the listener, making you feel that you are not alone. I was reminded of SLOWDIVE at their best in the guitar, never a bad thing!


“A Sparkle on the Dark Water” is an album that really grows on you, evocative layers of sound revealed with each listen, a radiant production, with intense vivid messages delivered by the lyrics, augmented by the richly symbiotic musical psyche that accompanies them.


It is a pity I live in the northern part of Scotland as Pinhdar is appearing at the Dr Sardonicus Festival in Wales on 2nd August. Catch them if you can!

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