Best known for his collaborations with modern day Marc Bolanite, Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin is starting to carve a name for himself with his own homage to the music of old. His debut 2011 LP, Mikal Cronin, was a home-spun affair, a psych-garage rock album that brought the roll back in rock.
This time around Cronin is armed with a full studio production (and major indie label Merge) on the suitably named MCII, a continuation and evolution of his previous work. "The Weight" benefits from the studio soundscape, there’s tight harmony lines and bristling dynamics, but Cronin is wise to not let the song be overdone with studio polish, the raw energy is still there.
“I’ve seen her around now with someone new I don’t know, She likes green-eyed boys that are haloed in hope, but I know the look in his eyes and I know all the old signs, just a couple of curves before his own road unwinds.”
Josh Ritter just released The Beast In Its Tracks, an album that captures the period of his divorce from Dawn Landes with devastating clarity, paucity, and most importantly, empathy. As a man who whittled his own path out of Oberlin with a self-created major in “American History Through Narrative Folk Music”, Ritter has managed to avoid the usual depression and one-sidedness of most break-up albums, and his usual lyrical fireworks, more spare this time around, are still on display. Take “Hopeful” the fourth track on the album, which juxtaposes his own stark admissions with his ex-partner’s silver lining. Most impressive is the nods to music that came before him, with shades of Paul Simon’s verbose diary narratives, a touch of Lennon melodic hooks and an arrangement that would fit perfectly with Elliot Smith’s XO.
I’m always game to support some local music, and Sam McDougle aka Polly Hi is a refreshing change of course from the out-there indie scene that is Brooklyn, NY. He doesn’t have an official EP yet, but has three very fine singles “In The Morning”, “All My Energy” and the song I’m featuring here, “Bombs & Galaxies”. Clocking in at a brief 2:05, the song features a strong acoustic hook and some spacey harmonies. It’s equal parts Vetiver and a more relaxed Elliot Smith. The strength of the song lies in the dynamic tempo shifts between verse and chorus. A catchy number from an artist to watch. A perfect song for those days where the skies are grey.
In all the hustle and bustle of last weeks midterms I didn’t get around to it but never fear, Heeerees your new Mixtape Monday!
This week features some stone cold and semi forgotten classics from the likes of; The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, and The Beatles. Served up with a side dish of relative unknowns; Jason Collett, Powderfinger, Ha Ha Tonka, Sara Jaffe, and Cults with some solid indie acts to top it off; Spoon, Dr. Dog, and Elliot Smith. Dig In. As always you can listen to the full track free below the description, and if you like it, just right click on the link above and download it. If you like what you hear, support the bands