Ghosts in your eyes

Roller-coasters aren’t for everyone. But if you’re in the mood for a little chaos, for a different sound that’s full of energy with unexpected dips and turns, then buckle up because I’ve got the song for you this week.

Pinc Louds are the definition of a true indie band. Literally birthed underground on the subway, this New York band has members from Puerto Rico to Chile to Israel, and the eclectic mix is evident in their wonderfully whimsical sound.

Haunted” begins with delicate, gripping vocals from lead singer Claudi, but do not let the steadiness of the first few seconds fool you – like I said, this song is a f*ckin’ ride. 

Claudi draws from a variety of influences, weaving in elements of jazz, rock, doo-wop, and overall theatrics. The vocal chops are just one element. Pinc Louds have the character of an indie jam band, with the experimental energy of a group like Man Man or Architecture in Helsinki. There is a soul to this band and you can feel the heartbeat.

As for the lyrics! On this track, we’re working with more house-metaphors this week (sorry!), but I promise the vibe of this earworm is 1000% different from Band of Horses. 

Instead of conjuring up a tenderness for home, Claudi gives us a house of pain. 

The speaker starts by describing themselves as a house “broken and haunted” due to wear and tear of elements like the wind “eat[ing] my bowels and break[ing] my back” and a spine that’s worn out from constantly being on the “sharp edge of my seat.” There’s nostalgia here, but instead of sweetness, this nostalgia for a former time holds anxiety, self-doubt, and a general sense of unease.

Things haven’t been the same

Since you came back with all of these

Ghosts in your eyes

They dance and glow and grin and glide

Look up at me

Can’t you see?

I’m alive and on my knees

While the speaker declares their livelihood to a presumed dead-beat lover, the latter’s very humanity is questioned as they ask, “Does your heart still beat?” The “dance and glow and grin and glide” of their eyes also gives the vibe of a warped fun-house – things are topsy-turvey, and this person is now unrecognizable to the speaker.

Listening activity: This is a good walking song. Take a stroll around the block on a sunny day and have this pumping through your ears.

After an instrumental breakdown mid-way through the song, there’s a particular transition that I couldn’t stop listening to for weeks (at precisely 2 mins 40 seconds in for studious listeners). This is when the ride changes from the low of a gut-wrenching turn and builds its way up to a new feeling by transporting us to a particular moment.

I’m a sucker for a lyrical reference to a hyper-specific inaccessible memory, and this pre-chorus is no exception:

I remember those days giving candy to the insects in the park

You handed me the last piece when I told you that we’d never be apart

Yesterday I went back, they were eating out the pieces of your heart

These sound like wordy lyrics, but the way Claudi delivers them with a speedier, sing-song rhythm flows so well **chef’s kiss**. It doesn’t matter that we’re not really following the reference, because the resulting effect of evoking this memory is enough to let us know there’s a deep longing for this once shared intimacy. 

It makes me think of one of my favorite random lines from Death Cab’s “We Looked Like Giants” (a song, nay entire album, that deserves a dissertation all on its own): “Do you remember the J.A.M.C./ And reading aloud from magazines?” Ben Gibbard admitted in a Vulture interview he knew this would be an inaccessible lyric to most, but still couldn’t help wax poetic for us.

In the last minute, the velocity and repetition continue to pick up and we reach a climax with Claudi’s high-pitched scream lamenting time itself: 

I said there was time for us

There was time

I said time


I said time

I recommend listening to the album-recorded version, but this live performance in Union Square is worth the watch as well.

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