Pomegranate Tea is a new face on the scene with a sound as refreshing as their namesake. Having only been in the public scene for about a year, the Massachusetts and Rhode Island three piece already has two EPs under their belt showcasing the best qualities of DIY emo. Pomegranate Tea is Matt Baillargeon (lead vocals, guitar), Reece Ashley (vocals, bass, horn) and Adam “Squid” Chenir (drums). Armed with a sound similar to the likes of Origami Angel, and Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Pomegranate Tea is a band that’s sure to be a new friend in your music library with their newest EP, In Contrast.
The six track EP opens with fast-paced drums and guitar riffs on “Spongebob Season 1-3”, a song about picking yourself up after you’ve messed up. With its unpredictable structure, the song has you captivated from the beginning to the end. The outro itself, which samples dialogue from Michael De Santa’s introductory cutscene in Grand Theft Auto V, is a pessimistic ending that supports the song’s theme of being viewed as lesser than you really are. Following is, “FU Reece” a track with sparse lyrics mainly consisting of repetitive lyrics, “Say you wanted more.” Baillargeon’s vocals imitate a cry that’s never heard in the sea of drums and guitars. It’s a brief energetic track that’s sure to get people moving.
“Different” is the third track and accurately describes the prominence of bass in the verses along with the addition of a synth and glockenspiel within some of the instrumental sections. Lyrically, the song deals with conflict from the differences between two people.
“Margaret,” is the lead single of the EP accompanied with its own music video. The single art and video include a comedic collage of clips and images of the band hanging out and playing shows. The cover also features the band member’s faces quickly photoshopped onto Margaret’s head, a Regular Show character and who the song is named after. The song itself laments relationship problems with a classic emo wailing anthem.
Watch the official music video for “Margaret” here:
The fifth track, “Maraschino,” takes a darker turn, the upbeat instrumentals contrasting its lyrics chronicling drug use. Maraschino cherries are used to symbolize blood, implied to be from heavy drug use to forget his problems. It’s an intriguing track that transitions well into the last song, “The Closer,” which is a great wrap up to In Contrast.
Lyrically, the song calls back to the themes of the first track of messing up and trying to get better from it, with the addition of the themes of conflict similar to “Different.” Like “Margaret,” the song incorporates references to Regular Show, this time by sampling main characters Mordecai and Rigby’s signature “Yeah-Yuh!” and ending the outro with dialogue from the episode, “Just Set Up the Chairs.” The song itself is a stream of guitars leading you through its melodies, the drums, bass, and horns towards the end adding to expand the sound into an amazing conclusion, optimistically stating “You know that, / I’m trying, I’m getting better. / I’m better”.
Overall, Pomegranate Tea is a promising new band that knows how to balance twinkly emo melancholia with light hearted humor and In Contrast is a stellar example of that.