Peter McPoland’s “String Lights” Is Painstakingly Beautiful


Photo: Erica Snyder

If this chapter of my life were made into a coming-of-age film, Peter McPoland's "String Lights" is the song I would want to play at the very end. "String Lights" captures the experience of existing in a moment, and feeling sad that one day that moment will transform into a bittersweet memory. Heartful and raw as ever, McPoland explores the self-inflicting pain that comes with reminiscing a little too hard.

On "String Lights," the 21-year-old singer-songwriter adds a hint of folk to his typical indie-pop sound, combining the melodies and storytelling of the genre with contemporary indie instrumentation. "String Lights" simultaneously reflects and reinvents the mid-2000s era of Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, The Lumineers, and all the other songs that make you want to road trip through the Pacific Northwest with the windows down. The track's instrumentation is simple - keys that crescendo into acoustic guitars, violins, and drums - but simple is exactly what a song like this needs. It allows for McPoland's affecting vocals to shine through.

McPoland has a special way of connecting with his listeners through his voice. He sings with a powerful authenticity that is rare to come across these days. You can feel his emotion through each inflection, especially during the chorus, "Maybe it all might make sense / When I’ve learned to mean what I meant / Well everything ends."

Watch the "String Lights" lyric video below: