The Pines at Night - A Year of Novembers CoverPretty Vacant One

Track by Track: A Year of Novembers by The Pines at Night

Back at the beginning of November, Matthew Ryan aka The Pines at Night announced the release of a new album called A Year of Novembers.

It’s an album you have to spend time listening to. One is not likely to unearth the sheer beauty of the album in one listening. The more you listen to it, the more it shines and the more one will notice the lyrics, the music, the way Matthew’s voice adds texture to said lyrics and music.

Just like the title, my November has felt like a year of Novembers and this album has been the soundtrack to it. The album could be the definition of November, especially in the Northern Hemisphere where winter has taken hold. Dark, moody, with hope drizzled in like a night time rain. As for me, here in Australia, we’ve experienced rain upon buckets of rain so this album matched the weather mood versus the typical Spring time blooms mood.

That hopeful dark moodiness is one of the many reasons I adore Matthew Ryan’s work. Add his lyrical prowess and vocal heartache and well, I’m hooked. I’ve been a fan of his since I heard Matthew Ryan vs the Silvers State.

Without further ado, let’s jump into each track.

Peace and Love: Man oh man, this beauty kicks off the album and it asks the question: what is so funny about peace and love and murder? The answer isn’t given and there is no peace in listening to this song but a small stirring of the anger within. I interpret this poetic song as a simple description of the world going to hell in a candbasket. A soul angry yet hopeful.

Until the Stars Don’t Burn: This may be my favorite track on the album. It’s the way Matthew’s voice grits with emotion with these lyrics, “…until the stars don’t burn. Take my hand, baby it’s my turn. I wanna see you grinning like a kid babe. Singing “Ruby Soho”. Take my hand I won’t let it go…” There is something about this song and the way he sings it that just hits me in the heart. For me, I feel that it’s the companion song to “Follow the Leader” (from the album From a Late Night High Rise).

Falling in Slow Motion: This is such a quiet song of appreciation that I often forget this track is on the album.

Song for Younger Hearts About Maps: You’ve got my ear with a heartbreaking harmonica opening a song any day of the week. An inspirational song about going on and moving on when someone dear passes.

Bows & Arrows: I interpret this song as a battle of two souls in a relationship. One has reached the last thread and throws down the gauntlet or puts their weapons down and says this is enough. It’s time to change. It’s a beautiful song of hope.

To Be Young and in Love in America in November: This instrumental is November in the form of music. Beautiful. Hopeful. Love.

We’ll Be Floating Out of Here Tonight: One thing Matthew is superb at is painting pictures with his lyrics. Listening to his songs, one can visually see the lyrics unfold like a movie. This song paints a perfect lyrical picture. These lyrics are so visual that you can see them”…you’re as pretty as an atom bomb. You crawl inside and loot every heart. It’s a real dark world in your palm…

Your Heart is Like a Church: The song exudes sadness…lyrically, musically, and emotionally.

The Day After the World Ended: If there is an underlying theme for me for this entire album, it’s one of hope. Maybe that wasn’t Matthew’s intention but that’s how I’ve interpreted the lyrics and music and as the last track on the album, this song is a little more upbeat and for me paints a visual of the rising sun bringing forth a new day. A new day filled with hope.

🔥🔥🔥🔥4 out 5 flames. 
I’m biased. I’ve been wanting a full length album from Matthew in any incarnation he decides to present for a while. Especially after he teased us with an EPs from himself and from Strays Don’t Sleep in 2020 and a maxi-single from The Pines at Night earlier this year.

Listen or buy A Year of Novembers at Bandcamp.