Reckoning With Pinegrove by Jenn Pelly

An incredible piece of journalism by one of my favorite writers. I’m not sure if anyone could have written this except for Jenn Pelly.

Cardinal was one of my favorite albums in 2016, which we all know was a tumultuous year. When Evan Stephens Hall announced that he had been accused of sexual coercion, my heart was broken, but I did stop listening to the band. This article provides not just one side, but multiple sides to this story. I’m still not sure where I stand on all of it, but that’s kind of the beauty of it. The last paragraph of this article voiced something I’ve been trying to wrap my head around about my consumption of art by so many people. I wanted to paste that paragraph here, although everyone should still read the whole thing.

We bring ourselves to music; it’s the only way. The song is there, but so are we, processing it in tandem with our personal inventories, the rolodexes of pain and trauma and fortitude and joy that make us the people we are. When clarity is in short supply, we still have the agency to think our way through. Our experiences dictate what we are comfortable with, what we can possibly forgive, and what we cannot accept.

We all have agency about what is right and wrong for us to listen to and consume. Listening to music for me has always been and will always be a solitary experience. I choose what moves me and what disgusts me. This article made it clear that opinions on Pinegrove will boil down to individual agency.

Natalia Barr