Some tracks on previous Piney Gir releases might justify the use of terms like ‘quirky’ and ‘cute’ in describing Piney’s pop style but the only quirky thing about MHWR (Piney’s sixth album) is the maddening choice of typeface. Otherwise, she combines her ever effervescent presence and love of melodic pop with a fondness for pushing out her musical boat into more experimental waters.
As ever, she has an unerring ear for pop melody but it's becoming more unpredictable, with the catchy ‘Gold Rules’ closer to surreal Elephant 6 sunshine left-field pop. Likewise, if John Cale had composed a complaint to God, it might have sounded something like ‘Oh God You Devil’, full of breathy tones and scratchy strings, and a pleading prayer: “could you do this tiny favour: forget all my original sin?” ‘Universe’ takes a similarly philosophical turn, this time floaty psych-pop (many of these songs call out for an accompanying video; this one would have Piney as an Olympian god, observing her creation from on high). Piney keeps shuffling her pack,‘Keep It Together’ mixing up touches of Northern Soul, surf-rock and electronica, with its long, trippy lead-out eating up a fair proportion of its 6 minute existence. ‘Skeletons’ continues her fascination with the supernatural with a call and response interplay between trumpet and eerie voices, while ‘Mouse Of A Ghost’ casts aside its twee pop form for a Weezer-ish guitar freakout.
It’s as charming as ever but this time Piney paints her tuneful indiepop and sweet, guileless voice onto a broader canvas; not just the deceptively catchy pop we’ve grown to know and love but a spectacular technicolour dreampop that surpasses expectations.