Pickwick's New Single: Soulful, But Not Soul

Artist: Pickwick

Album:Myths, Vol. 1

Release date: October 23 (Tomorrow) on vinyl and mp3

Rating (Skip, Stream, or Buy): Stream it first

Local show: October 23 at the Sunset Tavern

I remember being really impressed by Pickwick back when the band specialized in hushed, ambient folk songs. That was well over a year ago. Since then, the band's been trying on a lot of different styles for size and appear to have settled on warm, soulful pop. To further cement the band's newfound appreciation for -- and inclusion of -- soul music, Pickwick plans to release a series of five 7" singles in an homage to Motown: Myths, Vol. 1 is the first in that series.

On first listen, it's clear that the band's still breaking in its new-found appreciation for soul like a new pair of shoes. And that's why calling the music "garage soul" doesn't work for me. The vocals are soulful and a nice-sounding organ pops in on occasion, but this is decidedly not soul music. No, "Hacienda Motel" and "When Rosa Speaks" are pop songs: pleasant, mid-tempo pop songs that rely on choppy, bouncy melodies and vocals that invoke the balladry of Sir Elton John. These are obviously good things. The downside is that once you listen to the two songs back to back several times in a row, they can begin to sound like variations on a theme rather than two distinct tracks. Pickwick is clearly still settling in, but fortunately, the new songs are good enough (and just different enough from each other) to deserve our continued attention.

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