PushpinPushpin are a youthful South London based band mixing together an intriguing genre-confounding combination of music styles. None more genre-confounding than the opening “Sea Song” here, which opens a recent album collecting together their songs released to date.

As they explain a little misleadingly on their Bandcamp page Pushpin “bring together a love of Grizzly Bear, Sigur Ros, Bjork, Led Zeppelin and far more. Expect chunky riffs and grooves combined with weird soundscapes.” 

It turns out the only thing you can reliably expect from this album is that no two songs will sound the same. Some songs – like the opening “Sea Song” posted here – sound like several different songs crafted together with decorative precision, like a kind of musical marquetry. 

Back in the 1970s this was called “Progressive Rock”, usually abbreviated to Prog. Not sure if that’s what it is still called today, but it is certainly not a far stretch to consider “Sea Song” alongside something like “A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers” by Van der Graaf Generator in spirit and ethos.  

“Sea Song” opens the imaginatively titled “Vol. 1” which Pushpin explain “is not really an album. it’s a collection of our releases up to this point. sorry if the flow is weird. it’s not meant to flow. it’s more of a gliding affair.”

“The flow is weird” is a perfect description for Pushpin because “Vol. 1” album features conventional (in a good way) indie-pop along with the more wild hyperactive progressive rock like “Sea Song”. And some which careen madly back and forward between the former and the latter. 

On the more conventional side are standouts like the synth pop smoothness of “Smooth Plane” and the glorious “Marble Star” with it’s shades of Super Furry Animals chorus (before things get a bit angular and abstract), and the big emo piano ballad of “Ferry Meadows”, which ends with the atmospheric interference of an electronic soundscape. Even the hyperactive progressive side is approachable, melodic, convincing, and willfully different just as starts to sound familiar. These songs may require a few listens to begin to reveal all their secrets but it’s worth the investment of your time.

If you want to hear more from Pushpin, and want to follow the journey this most intriguing and ambitiously musical fledgling band has started, then follow them on Soundcloud