When stuck in a cycle of bad choices, we’re often forced to learn the rules of life the hard way, and Pinder knows as much in the new single and music video “Same Mistake” this fall. Rather than using the imagery of the video to craft us a relatable story about falling into the same old social traps again and again, the lyrical substance of Pinder’s latest release is undeniably vivid and supremely expressive. He’s got a poetic presence in this performance that is impossible to get away from, and with minimal fluff to get in his way, the narrative he constructs is impossible to resist.
Pinder’s vocal is potent for sure, but were it not backed by such an elegant piano element in the backdrop, it might not exude the power that it does in this instance. The keys make the verses so much more emotionally charged and intense from top to bottom, and because of the delicate manner in which they’re arranged in “Same Mistake,” they echo the sentiments of the lyrics in a way that is downright ghostly in a couple of key moments here. I didn’t expect to be as wowed by the surreal factors in this single as I was, and that’s putting it quite mildly.
“Same Mistake” evolves before our very ears, layering balladic themes atop each other until we wind up with an all-out power-pop number that sounds as capable of rocking a packed arena as it does soundtracking a casual drive down the 101 at the end of the long hot summer season. The versatility of this piece really is defined by the complicated nature of the structure, but I wouldn’t say Pinder sounds overly intellectual in his execution at all. That element of the material is rather homespun and intimate.
The music video for “Same Mistake” is really thoughtful and hardly the artsy mess that such a work has the potential to be, given the indie circuit that Pinder is a part of at the moment. There’s been a crude rise in pseudo postmodernity across the NorCal underground the past couple of years, but there are no cerebral stunts in the songcraft here that would make this artist and his creation feel less authentic than they should. This is coming from his heart, and there’s no denying that when you listen to the lyrics and their relationship with the music and visual experience they’re tied to.
This single has a feel-good vibe that I can’t get enough of at the moment, and I think it goes without saying that Pinder is starting to find his stride in a manner that mainstream critics are going to have a hard time ignoring. 2021 has been a spotty year for indie pop/rock, but this is one singer and songwriter who hasn’t shown us anything but continuous development since the moment he stepped into the studio for the first time. He’s rocking a classic pop model in this performance and making it sound as fresh as ever, which deserves quite a bit of commending as I see it.
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