Imagine if Tegan and Sara left the land of slick pop, pushing back their flopping pompadours to wipe their brows as they climbed the summit of folk. Imagine if, on the same plateau, Phoebe Bridgers left a songbook about the canyon below, a map felt through finger-picked guitar. This is the floaty sound that has made Pillow Fite an instantly buzzed about Halifax band—and makes its EP Flutter one of the best records of 2022.
Aaron Green and Art Ross don’t deny they are the odd couple of Halifax indie. Green’s an experienced musician who’s played in a host of local bands; Ross had never made music before the demos they texted Green at Pillow Fite’s beginning. Ross described themselves to The Coast as “an emotional tornado” to Green’s “logical, analytical, even” personality. “This is so cliche, but I feel like I taught Aaron to feel. I truly do,” Ross said in the same interview. “Because when I first met him, he was very structured musically. And he was like ‘wait, you can't do that. You can't have a five minute song with only one lyric the whole time.’ And I'm like ‘why not?’ But then Aaron has really helped structure us... Aaron already has an established presence in Halifax that I was really lucky to be added into.”
With the arrival of Flutter, though, it’s easy to see the commonalities between the two disparate halves: Both lyrics and guitar will spin gossamer and gauzy in tandem, before splattering mud on the song’s shoes. Both allow feeling to flit softly before letting its edge paper-cut you. Both know that through this mix of soft sentiment and indie crunch that the EP’s magic is conjured. On the album standout “Napanee,” Ross sings as Green strums: “My frail arms held you in a tight bind/Conjuring up all the courage I could find/Cried so hard knowing you were down/In that camper not making a sound.”