In a city whose backdrop fosters so many unique bands and musicians, it’s always exciting to see a young band begin to cement themselves amongst so many others. New Yorkers, The Pine Hollows played the iconic Sidewalk Café this past weekend, and while the venue holds no entry fee, the quartet played to a packed crowd.
With fans nabbing any seats they could (including the floor), the band, fronted by Gianni Napolitano, pleased with their distinctive brand of scuzzy Beatles-esque tunes, start things off with a new track, “Go And Tell Him,” followed by another new one, “She’s Going To Break Your Heart.” The songs, taken from their forthcoming album, “Something My Heart Understands,” see fans bopping along to the shimmering pop tracks, with Napolitano setting the pace with his quirky dance moves and shimmering jacket.
Napolitano follows with Adeline, and an appropriate Beatles cover, You Can’t Do That. The band briefly touch on their last album, playing crowd favorite, Regret, but focus seems to be placed mostly on their new work. Amidst the set are crowd pleasing Christmas tracks, including The Pine Hollows’ original, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and another McCartney cover, Wonderful Christmas Time. Napolitano, however, seems to hold most attention when he plays his original work.
The Pine Hollows start to wrap things up with the psychedelic, After Dark, and the title track of their new album, Something My Heart Understands, but not before including the catchy, You Got Me Runnin'. The band close on Please, Please, with fans rushing to greet and congratulate Napolitano, only further elevating the New Yorker’s local “celebrity” music status.
The new album, due for release this forthcoming February 26, via BMI, is a strong achievement for the fresh faced 20-year-old student. Although young, Napolitano’s lyrical narrative is well beyond his years, much the same as his entertaining guitar licks. While The Pine Hollows'rock/pop is reminiscent of the folksy 60’s and 70’s songs written well before their time, their upbeat attitude and fresh approach breathes a tender new era over the genre.
It seems appropriate that the young band, who undoubtedly will be making waves when the album drops early next year, play at such an iconic venue. It’s almost like a right of passage for your New York band set for stardom.