Picturesque matures into interesting post-hardcore in “Do You Feel O.K?” (Review)

Picturesque, 2020

Ever since their debut EP in 2014, I’ve kept an eye on the transcending, exploratory band that is Picturesque. Their idea of post-hardcore incorporates soaring vocals and compelling production techniques to enhance the emotion portrayed. For their upcoming release, Do You Feel O.K?, there’s been a whopping five singles released since “Pray” in 2018, so the anticipation is palpable for me as I delve into this album hitting April 24th!

Starting off with single “Necessary,” the haptic feedback in my headphones went NUTS in the first few seconds, immediately establishing that the aforementioned production value is kicked into high gear for this release. The chorus sees vocalist Kyle Hollis yearn to be someone’s first choice in aptly-addressed angst. Second off is a rousing “Holy f***!” shouted in “ATTN:.” Cleverly titled, the layered guitars in the chorus and poppy cues give this piece enough complexity to stick in the listener’s head.

“Swipe” has a polarizing R&B vocal delivery in the verses that smooths into a strong, anthemic chorus. This piece’s mainstream appeal is at the forefront with a lot of interspersed elements that could entertain a lot of listeners. My personal favorite single, “Crimes,” with a purely-infectious post-chorus jam and a standout performance in the bridge that shines the talent at hand in Picturesque in a bright spotlight.

“Prisoner” sees some female vocals in the later bits to create a shared-sentiment vibe within a toxic/failing relationship, lyrics that become easily relatable to those who have gone through something similar. “O.K?” continues the R&B styling and hones in on introspection and dealing with pain. The guitarwork at 2:18 is divine and gave me chills, being in the right place at the right time.

“Holding Me Down” broadcasts a haunting vibe, once again benefiting from dual guitars in the chorus. The piece’s quiet, focused tone in its verses gives precedence to Kyle to get his message across. Some interesting experimentation comes out in “Glass House”s intro, as Kyle battles with himself in the lyrics and a highly-reverbed guitar in the bridge presents a longing feeling.

A track I’ve heard for two years now, “Pray” encapsulates the struggle between a rough love and the alternative of loneliness. This is an optimal entry point to Picturesque, giving all that they can give in this song. “Say it Like You Mean it” takes a while to pick up with a chorus that plays it safe and not enough going on to make it as memorable as the other tracks. The last song is “Day By Day,” a meta, sentimental closure to the album to “put the pieces back.”

While it was a bold move to drop half the album in advance and as early as they did with the singles, the cohesive unit that is Picturesque’s Do You Feel O.K? makes for a great second LP from the band. There’s just enough effects and riffs sprinkled in to create a distinctive sound that capitalizes on R&B/Pop influences for some angst-tinged post-hardcore goodness. There’s a bit of a dropoff in the last few songs, but the front half and beyond makes for a worthwhile listen for fans of the genre. Give us your thoughts on this release when it hits April 24th!

A press copy was provided courtesy of Big Picture Media.