Album of the Week: Pedro The Lion, 'Phoenix'


Pedro The Lion
Pedro The Lion - Phoenix (Polyvinyl)

In 1998 I fell in love deep with Pedro the Lion's debut album, It's Hard to Find a Friend. I was 19 years old and the song "Bad Diary Days" was the soundtrack to the vulnerable and suspicious feelings I was having about the first girl that loved me back. The songs were unapologetically fragile and small. I felt like someone was whispering into my head that it was okay to hurt and okay to wonder. Most of my life was spent in the hyper macho world of turn of the century hip-hop and It's Hard To Find a Friend was my escape pod.

As David Bazan continued to release records I lost his thread by the early 2000s and didn't make it a priority to hear his work. When it came on The Current or Radio K I enjoyed it, but I skipped plenty of shows. But I fell back in deep with the release of Pedro the Lion's single, "Yellow Bike". It might simply be the return to the name Pedro the Lion, it might be the twenty years off, but I wanted to jump back in to Pedro the Lion and listen. And thankfully, though it didn't sound recycled, all the things I loved musically were still there: guitar parts that moved from note to note enthusiastically and from chord to chord reluctantly and just enough unexpected measures of 2/4 and 3/4 to keep the drummer tapping the hi-hat in the quiet sections.

But lyrically I was happy to find out that the twenty years that lapsed had changed Bazan and myself. Neither of us seem worried about our girlfriend sneaking in a movie date with another suitor. The new record is a sober look at the idiosyncrasies of youth and the indignities of aging with a bravery and self-confidence that I don't think either of us were ready for twenty years ago.

Phoenix is a welcome addition to the catalog of Pedro the Lion and David Bazan, and I for one, can't wait for he and I to grow even older together.

Listen all week for tracks from Pedro the Lion's Phoenix, The Current's Album of the Week.


Pedro The Lion - Official Site

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