At the Earth's Core
The Special Pillow
Sweet subterranean sounds: The Special Pillow are at their most melodic and most chaotic in this fifth fabulous foray into string-driven, psych-flavored pop.
For the past two decades, the Special Pillow have stealthily operated beneath the underground of their Hoboken hometown, mining a unique vein of string-driven, psych-flavored pop. In 2015, Yo La Tengo shone a light on the Pillow’s shadowy demimonde with their cover of the band’s “Automatic Doom.” Now, the Special Pillow have surfaced again, bringing At the Earth’s Core, their fifth fabulous album, into the light of day.
Since the dissolution of indie cult heroes Hypnolovewheel, songwriter and majordomo Dan Cuddy has played bass with such notable combos as Sleepyhead and XL Kings, but has reserved his own distinctive compositions for the Special Pillow’s collective thaumaturgy.
Featured players on At the Earth’s Core are charter Special Pillow member Katie Gentile (Run On, Mad Scene) on violin and viola; longtime collaborator Peter Stuart (Headless Horsemen, Tryfles) on a staggering arsenal of guitars, basses, and other stringed instruments; and Eric Marc Cohen (Fly Ashtray), making his recording debut with the group, on drums and percussion. Everybody contributes vocals, with Katie taking the lead on two tracks, and the celestial choir is enhanced with the dulcet tones of folk chanteuse Debby Schwartz (of P.G. Six and solo renown).
At the Earth’s Core is the band’s second project with engineer Mitch Rackin, recorded and mixed at Brooklyn’s scintillating Seaside Lounge recording studio. It encompasses the Special Pillow at their most melodic and most chaotic; sweet subterranean sounds haunted by the ghosts of the Jurassic Period, waging a never-ending battle against overwhelming odds, irreconcilable differences, and the goddamn PATH train.
Praise for The Special Pillow
“Catchy songs . . . uplifting, lightly psych-flavoured vignettes . . . concise and clever.” —Terrascope Online
“Soothing harmonies and supple, sad strings . . . jangly . . . driving . . . Go-Betweens/Chills/Bats New Zealand–influenced pop.” —The Big Takeover