Based out of Los Angeles, pen pin is a duo consisting of songwriters and instrumentalists Jeni Magana and Emily Moore. Magana and Moore are responsible for almost all of the instruments featured in their songs, along with being the producers of their own music. Both have performed with many prominent musicians, including Taylor Swift, fun., Dua Lipa and Mitski, the latter being who Magana and Moore were touring with when they met.
Images of sun-soaked poolsides and warm walks in the park at dusk are what pen pin aims to bring to mind. Its songs are love letters to vintage pop and new definitions of modern indie aesthetics, creating ambient and simple songs and making them breezy and delightful listens. Magana and Moore’s journey on a collaborative project while taking breaks from their tour with Mitski, and the process of writing and self-producing their debut album has captured a moment of inspiration and a joyous collaboration between friends.
While pen pin has only released three songs, its discography is a promising beginning to an explosive future career. The first of its songs, released in 2022 and titled "Spooky Love," is an adorable track with pure harmonies and a pleasant ambiance. The lyrics contribute to the oxymoronic nature of the title, with seasonally appropriate themes of Halloween and the end of summer contrasting satisfyingly with the song’s bubbly sound.
Sticking with the theme of seasonal celebrations, the other song released by pen pin in 2022 is called "Office Party." It matches the soundscape of "Spooky Love" without being a direct duplicate, featuring many of the harmonic and instrumental tropes of the preceding track. The song is relatable and addresses a cliche topic in a fresh way. The background instrumentals combine the authenticity of seasoned and passionate musicians with an electronic edge, lent by editing sessions in the studio, and altogether tie together the sound of the band nicely.
Almost a month ago, the duo released a new single as an introduction to their upcoming LP, “Pony Up.” While only a year passed between releases, the newfound sophistication of "Fringe" is a notable and welcome addition to the style of pen pin. The song details the capturing of a joyous moment in a relationship, and the ability to recall that feeling during dark times. The breezy track features dreamy melodies and nostalgic piano, creating a warm and cathartic musical experience, complete with wholesome vocals that are equally chilling and soothing.
The duo’s first album is set to be released in spring 2024, marking the beginning of the band's prime season. The album covers topics of inspiration, companionship and the love and happiness that these subjects bring up. It promises to carry you through uncertain times with an optimistic mindset and groovy beat. The band is remarkably accessible and due to its currently brief discography and definite promise, will have an exciting few years ahead that will be remarkable to watch.