Born among the pitch pines of southern New Jersey, Pine Barons is a project that came to fruition as friends gathered around campfires in the nature-rich environments of their hometowns. The band’s beginnings can be traced back to the members getting to know their instruments in their parents’ basements as well as outdoors, adventuring around, exploring an eclectic and intimate palette of punk, jazz and experimental rock.
The band’s debut LP, The Acchin Book (released in 2017), possessed a unique quality from the auxiliary instruments and recording techniques used; feathered paper dragged across paintings, field recordings in the woods at night, accordion, string arrangements and bowed guitars all contributing to the various moods and textures of the record.
Pine Barons’ follow up effort, 2020’s Mirage On The Meadow, released during the throes of the pandemic, was a more insular effort, as all songs were written, produced and engineered by frontman & multi-instrumentalist, Keith Abrams, who explored themes of human connection while acknowledging impermanence and death’s inevitability. Sonically, Mirage On The Meadow is a psychedelic amalgamation of graveyard shifting indie rock – full of the dread we all experience while retaining a cautious optimism that propels its rich, colorful sound towards a brighter future.
During the mixing process, Abrams stumbled upon the music of cult favorite Japanese band, Fishmans (active throughout the late 80’s and 90’s) and fell in love with their peerless mix of dream pop, psychedelic rock, trip-hop and dub/reggae. Unable to speak the Japanese language himself, Abrams set out to discover what the lyrics actually meant, and with the help of a Japanese-speaking friend, came up with lyrical English interpretations of the late Shinji Sato’s words. After Sato’s copyright successor passed along his blessing to move forward, I LOVE FISH was officially born.
I LOVE FISH is a tribute album in the truest sense. Also produced and engineered in house, Pine Barons (whose current lineup includes Keith Abrams, guitarist Brad Pulley, bassist James Tierney, keyboardist Alex Beebe and drummer Miles Young) brings its own flavor to the arrangements and compositions that comprise nine Fishmans songs, including ambitious fan favorite, the 30-minute plus “LONG SEASON”, a song that has never been attempted as a cover before. Abrams recalls hearing Sato’s voice for the first time, noticing that “without even knowing what the lyrics were, I felt such a strong connection to the voice that sang them. It confirms to me the genuine beauty of that voice and how universal music truly is."
American Pancake Pine Barons & The Beautiful Universe Of “Blue Dolphin”
"Pine Barons know how to construct beautiful sonic universes with dream pop planets orbiting. Every sonic aspect sounds gorgeous, has a place, there is nothing extra and nothing missing. The richness here, the pushed bass and smashed machine beats, sparkling (&) ethereal synths, subtle guitar embellishments all provide a trampoline for KC Abrams' dream soaked vocals to bounce off of"
Indie Shuffle Pine Barons - Frantic Francis
"It's as though the whirling colors of a psychedelic teabag have been steeped in the warm waters of rock and experimentation, while the lyrics form the cup that holds it all together"
"This is a record that’s spattered in tie-dye, glow-in-the-dark paint. It’s vivid and provocative, yet still has moments of subtle beauty to underscore the massive hooks and tidal waves of sound. Pine Barons’ Mirage On The Meadow is a phenomenal sophomore effort from a band who has only improved over time, and one of the best rock albums to come out of Philly this year"
American Songwriter Pine Barons Find There Is More to Their ‘Mirage’ On “Meadowsong”
"Mirage on the Meadow has unraveled the band’s versatility shifting through more nuanced, and enchanting, arrangements"
"Pine Barons lead vocalist Keith Abrams makes sure to replicate the intricacies of the original track, capturing its dreaminess within a delicate soundscape which layers upon itself and crescendos into an enchanting finish"
The Wild Honey Pie Buzzing Daily: Pine Barons - Reaper
"Pine Barons combine psychedelic instrumentals and vivid lyrical imagery to deliver a haunting track that truly rocks; perfect listening for this, the spookiest of seasons"
"Their complex arrangements echo the type of perplexing subject matter at hand, and their metaphorical lyricism sees them evoking a world beyond reality in hopes of finding the right answers"
"Pine Barons’ music is singularly positive and radiant, marked with a wide smile as it uses beautiful imagery of the earth’s fauna and flora to comment on the intricacies of human nature and relationships"
"Polished and pristine, a crystalline recording compared to the crunchy lo-fi fuzz of their 2013 EP. But it also retains that record’s love for textural oddities, like the percussive mechanical gears that crank and clang under the catchy grooves"