Pinball Machine /// Axe & The Ivory

As a relationship progresses, so do each person’s expectations. You can either grow closer or drift further apart in the process. Eventually, you will hit the crossroads of whether you should stay or go. In their latest single, “Pinball Machine,” Australian indie folk group Axe & The Ivory chronicles a relationship that has been wildly flung out of sync, but leaves room for a second chance. 

The melodic bedrock of “Pinball Machine” is how homey and cozy it all feels. It acoustically generates a calming atmosphere that runs counter to this track’s shaky ground narrative. However, it can be a quiet unease, especially as the track becomes more tense when the pickin’ pace ratchets up, leading up to a furious, final breakdown. All of it stems from how “Pinball Machine” is about hoping for stability, but you end up colliding against the reality of what is.

What cannot be doubted is the vocal tandem of Rosie Roberts and Ben Lovell, who each share the duties of bringing this rocky relationship to life. Each of them matches the track’s heavy theme with a dose of sincerity. Instead of writhing in the angst of it all, these vocals are deeply heartfelt.

Coincidentally, “Pinball Machine” is about trying to find that elusive harmony between two people. Both of them wonder if they should stay or go, but leave the door open to reconciling with one another. But, it remembers how unpredictable and volatile it can get, hoping against hope that it won’t tilt that way next time. 

Altogether, “Pinball Machine” is a song that copes with uncertainty as best you can. While in a state of limbo, Axe & The Ivory spins a spirited style of folk to resemble the insecurity within a disconnected relationship. However, the indie folk quartet are very much on the same page about letting their spellbinding melodies tie up those emotional loose ends.

Written by Travis Boyer






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