I had high hopes for today. I really did. I was going to get caught up on things, even get ahead on a few of them. But then the dryer repair took longer and way more of my bank account than I thought. Then the post office took for-freaking-ever. I had a few rough calls with a couple of clients about last minute cancellations and, to top it off, I seem to be fighting off a small bout of step throat (which, if you know me, really is no big deal but is just the icing on the cake). Long story short, I ended up taking a nap to try and give myself a bit of a re-do. Now I’m up from that nap but, as often happens, I am struggling to jump back into work. I’m really hoping that The Peregrine Dives’ new album ‘Crossroads & Ghosts’ will help give me that burst of energy that I so desperately need to get through the rest of the day and get that feeling of motivation back.

This album starts off with “1 Minute of Chaos”. I was ready for my ears to get assaulted by a cacophany of sound but the title of this track is misleading on all fronts. It’s actually one minute and forty seconds long and instead of being chaotic, I found this opening track to be absolutely beautiful and therapeutic. It’s seriously a stunning track full of orchestral minimalism that helped me shake of the cobwebs I was feeling and definitely got me ready for whatever was to come with the rest of this album. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit worried that the rest of this listen would be slow and lull me back into the dreamland I had reluctantly left just a little bit prior but that worry was quickly put to rest.

“4 Minutes of Peace”, like “1 Minute of Chaos” is completely misleading with the title. This track shook me back to reality with an undeniable sense of energy and power. Although this track doesn’t have a super aggressive sound to it, the power comes through loud and clear. There’s something a bit 90s alt about it with the vocal styling and the overall composition of the track but it doesn’t at all feel dated or re-done. Had I not already been been tricked by The Peregrine Dives with the title of the first song, I probably would have believed this was only a four minute song but, in reality, it’s nearly five minutes. Why does this matter? Well, I got so lost in it that I lost track of time and when I am typically ready to move on from a track after just about two or three minutes, I found myself completely caught by this song all the way through until the end.

The third track on this album is “Left on Massard”. There’s an air of mystery in this song. It has an almost haunting quality to it when compared to “4 Minutes of Peace” and honestly sounds like a completely different band at face value. The vocals are darker and the tempo and instrumentation is just a bit more intentional (think Interpol). It almost has a new-wave feel to it with everything it has going on in it but, when you really start to listen, you can still hear that 90s throwback style throughout the track. I found this song just a bit slower moving than my heart wanted right now but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the fuzzy-rock drenched song all the way through.

I was a bit surprised when “Birdcalling” kicked off with the sound of, well, birds. I know that sounds so obvious but fool me twice… you know. This fourth track continues with the more intentional feeling laid out in “Left on Massard” but the vocals lighten up ever so slightly so give you yet another whole new side of The Peregrine Dives. Although I felt like “Left on Massard” was a fairly dark song like “Birdcalling”, that song just didn’t have the heartbreak attached to each word like this one does. The emotion of “Birdcalling” is deep and can be felt with the way the weight of each word seems to hang in the air even if only for brief moments of time. There are cool instrumental breaks throughout this song that I found to be just as full of emotion as the vocals including one right around the one minute, forty second mark. The growth in this break especially filled me with so much emotion in a beautiful way before it gave way and fell back into the song. To say that this part in particular was epic would be an understatement and I know that telling you to listen to nearly a six minute song in full is a huge ask but I truly think you’ll appreciate it.

“These Heavy Bags” was instantly a favorite of mine on this album but I sadly don’t think I can tell you why. From the lyrics to the composition all the way to just the overall vibe, something about this track just hit me so perfectly as I listened to it for the first time. Whereas you could really feel the weight of the words in “Birdcalling”, I feel like the word choice in “These Heavy Bags” is just as heavy. When you match that with the constantly almost drone like instrumentation that somehow brings an ebb and flow throughout the track without much attention drawn to it, I felt like this song just understood me at this moment in particular and I would expect that this will not change and that “These Heavy Bags” will quickly become a standard in the daily playlists of my life.

This all-too-quick six song release ends with “Whatever, Marlboro” which really brings things home as it seems to go back to the original feeling I got when listening to “4 Minutes of Peace”. A perfect blend of nostalgia and modern with a twist that only The Peregrine Dives could add to the mix, this song was another bop with parts scattered throughout the track that make for the best ear worms. I love how things lighten up for this track and it ends the journey on a very triumphant and optimistic note which, as you could tell, was just what I wanted and needed for today.

‘Crossroads & Ghosts’ is truly a rollercoaster. On the ride you get a little bit of everything from 90s nostalgia to new-wave vibes all the way to ear-wormy choruses. I’ve never been one for roller coasters or even rides but this is one that I will absolutely be making an exception for.

My Favorite Track(s): “These Heavy Bags”

For Fans Of: 90s Nostalgia; New-Wave Vibes; Subtle power

Mosh-ability: 4 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie and Autumn laid right next to my desk; Alfie slept upstairs on my bed

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 8.1 out of 10

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