Single Review: Drowners – Pick Up the Pace

By on Friday, 20th May 2016 at 12:00 pm

Words by Krystal Garcia of Distorted Heartbeat

“Honey, you’ve got to pick up the pace” is precisely what NYC’s Drowners aspire to do with the release of the second single from their forthcoming album ‘On Desire’. Where the album’s first single ‘Cruel Ways’ was a bit of a departure from the more indie pop sound of their 2014 self-titled debut, ‘Pick Up the Pace’ bridges the gap between the band’s previous Smiths-like material and the darker, more mature direction of the new album.

Produced by Claudius Mittendorfer, whose body of work includes the Jangly Guitar Master himself Johnny Marr, ‘Pick Up the Pace’ isn’t completely without dark, brooding undertones. Smiths comparisons aside, Drowners wear many other influences on their sleeves with pride: Suede’s charisma, Jarvis Cocker-like vocals and late ‘90s Cure guitar. Lyrically, Welsh frontman Matthew Hitt weaves a tale of the dangers of complacency. “The ball is dropped, so the chain reacts”, he says, in attempt to reclaim his own emotional well-being. Hitt’s smooth, confident vocals are paired with Jack Ridley’s equally confident, whimsical guitar work. Together, they are grounded by a crisp rhythm section consisting of Erik Lee Snyder on bass and Daniel Jacobs on guitar. Floating above it all is a light layer of synths that while initially may be off-putting, eventually they tie together the dark and light aspects of the song.

While not quite on the same level of their musical predecessors, ‘Pick Up the Pace’ shows that Drowners have graduated to the next level of their career: capable of writing dark melodic pop just as well if not better than their token jangly pop.


Single ‘Pick Up the Pace’ from New Yorkers Drowners is available now. ‘On Desire’, the second album from New York City’s Drowners, will be released on Frenchkiss Records on the 24th of June. More coverage of Drowners on TGTF can be found here, including editor Mary’s coverage of them at SXSW 2016.


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