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“In Your Eyes,” a song about making meaningful connections with loved ones after you lose your memory, is driven equally by content and composition. Barren soundscapes and quivering vocals give way to lush, buoyant instrumental breaks.

The song’s verses—which are delivered over an apprehensive guitar line and punctuated with words like “snapshots,” “flashes,” “jagged lines,” and “misaligned mind”—impart a sense of uncertainty, but its choral refrain, “you look familiar,” opens up to a warm instrumental respite, with guitars, drums, and keyboards capturing the visceral comfort of familiarity that, for those experiencing memory loss, can sometimes prove difficult to convey through language.

The song, premiering today on the INDY website, is the latest release from The Pinkerton Raid, a Durham-based band whose sound falls somewhere between Iron & Wine’s introspective indie folk and Adult Jazz’s experimental tumult.

“In Your Eyes” is inspired by frontman Jesse James DeConto’s late grandfather, who developed dementia toward the end of his life.

“‘You look familiar,’ he used to say,” DeConto says. “He didn’t always recognize people, and he didn’t always know where he was or why he was there. So ‘you look familiar’ was his little joke. What he’s saying is basically, ‘I don’t remember exactly what our relationship is, but I feel safe—I feel like I’m ok.’”

Pinkerton Raid will perform “In Your Eyes” and other songs from their upcoming album, The Highway Moves the World, at The Pinhook in Durham on December 9. Stream the song below. 

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