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Cardinal is the second studio album by American rock band Pinegrove, released February 12, 2016 on Run for Cover. Pinegrove formed in Montclair, New Jersey in 2010, and spent their early years self-releasing their music and performing at DIY shows. Their first record, Meridian, was released in 2012, and later compiled into the mixtape Everything So Far. In the early 2010s, the members relocated from their hometown of Montclair to Brooklyn, New York. The band's frontman, singer-songwriter Evan Stephens Hall, however, decided to return home, where he and drummer Zack Levine produced Cardinal. Cardinal was recorded in the duo's parents' basements in Montclair. Hall wrote the lyrics for the album, which are semi-autobiographical and touch on themes of love, space, and distance. The album's cover art, also designed by Hall, intends to capture these subjects via two interconnected squares. Pinegrove signed to independent record label Run for Cover to release Cardinal, which was issued on February 12, 2016. It received acclaim from music critics, and was featured on many year-end "best of" lists by national media.