Update, March 16: Pinegrove clarified the status of their new album in a new statement provided to Pitchfork on Thursday night:
Skylight is finished, but we don’t have any plans to release it until this has been further resolved. We’ve been playing music with each other because that’s what we love to do, but we are not announcing another album right now. We’re sorry for not providing more information but navigating this privately has felt like the best way to be respectful to all parties.
The band’s clarification comes amidst controversy inspired by Thursday’s reports that the album was “ready to be released,” which many fans saw as inappropriate, given the lack of clarity (to which Pinegrove’s statement alludes) surrounding the accusations against frontman Evan Stephens Hall and any subsequent efforts of his to resolve the situation.
Original Story: Last we heard from Pinegrove, the band had affirmed their ongoing hiatus in the wake of a distressing revelation from frontman Evan Stephens Hall, who revealed last fall that he had been accused of “sexual coercion.” Hall apologized to his bandmates and fans in an open letter, announcing the cancellation of Pinegrove’s then-upcoming U.S. tour and committing to undergo therapy indefinitely. All of this came at a particularly difficult time, as the band had previously announced work on a new album and shared “Intrepid,” their first new material since their 2016 breakout album Cardinal. There has been a frustrating lack of clarity throughout much of the above, and a murky situation now grows murkier, as Hall’s bandmate Nandi Rose Plunkett revealed in an interview with Columbus Alive that not only are Pinegrove still planning to release their new album, titled Skylight, but they are also working on another new album.
“There’s stuff in the works. There’s the album, Skylight, which is completely done and ready to be released,” said Plunkett. “And they’re working on a new record now. So the band is not done. They’re just trying to find the best way to re-emerge in a way that feels respectful to everyone involved in the situation.” Plunkett left Pinegrove’s live band last fall to focus on her synth-pop project Half Waif, which also features Pinegrove drummer Zack Levine. “But I absolutely see myself continuing to be a collaborator as far as recording,” she said. “Singing with Evan was how I got brought into the band, and eventually … how [Half Waif] got started. I will always jump at the opportunity to sing with him and play with musicians who have now become my family.”
Half Waif will release their Cascine Records debut LP, Lavender, on April 27. Listen to their latest single “Torches” here. You’ll find Pinegrove’s 2016 Paste Studio session below.