by Tiana Feng
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Label: Boompa Records
Thumbtacks + Glue is the fourth LP from Alberta’s Woodpigeon, led by singer-songwriter Mark Andrew Hamilton.
The album opens with “The Saddest Song In the World” which continually tells us to stop listening, an awkward statement to make at the start of an album. It would be more appropriate for the end, but it’s like a confident challenge to the listener, that we’ll ignore their words and continue on.
Sonically, Thumbtacks + Glue experiments with the less organic. There’s more pedals and effects (which they’ve always been using live) and layers to not pigeonhole (bahahaha) their recordings into the genre of orchestral pop. Of course we still get some of this in “A Sufferin’ Suckatash” and the string decorated “Edinburgh”.
Hamilton continues to show us that he can write fantastic stories. “Red Rover, Red Rover” uses the children’s game as a metaphor for two people who toil with each other’s emotions”. “As Read in the Pine Bluff Commercial” narrates a death that someone’s trying to resurrect. A dark tune, which Hamilton tells in juxtaposing sweet way. It’s his voice that ties everything together, even when things get louder in “Children Should be Seen and Not Heard.” “Love Wings” is a delicate duet between two lovers that realize love causes pain. Despite the constant rumination, “Hermit” affirms that life still goes on with the line “Oh, I’m still alive.”
The title track “Thumbtacks + Glue” inevitably about holding things together doesn’t come in until the very effect. The effects create a soundscape that fades as the ability to hold things together dissipates and disappears into sudden oblivion with the final note being unresolved.