- Saddle Creek / LBJ261LP
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This entire album was written AND recorded in two weeks, yet listening to it you really wouldn't think it at all. Be Here Now is the latest release from The Mynabirds. Never a stranger to bring politics into their music, lead singer Laura Burhenn speaks about how the album is a voice for those left behind by current day America and the era of 'Trump-ism'. Available on Vinyl LP and released on Saddle Creek.
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Buddy… why? What are you doing? “Be Here Now”? Do you know what that phrase means? D’you know what I mean?
Either the Britpop era completely washed over the Mynabirds or they really like LG’s and NG’s coked-up prog masterslump, and the result is a record titled the same thing, the reup ‘Be Here Now’ for a generation of Saddle Creek indie kids. It doesn’t really sound anything like its namesake, though it is aggressively colourful and gloriously big in relation to its boots. Its title track is a wonderful psychedelic ballad that swirls about the place with shiny synths and a glorious arrangement of lopsided choir singers. It sounds like the rest of the record should explode into the same starburst bravado, and certain tracks, like the politically emphatic “Golden Age”, have the same immense, pantomime assurance to them.
Weird that these songs exist with other ones, in all honesty: as one side of the Mynabirds’ sound travels in this theatrical direction, the other doubles down on recent trends on indie rock, with “Shouting at the Dark” taking our infatuation with recent jangle pop to heart, striking a match with its elegiac guitars; with its mix of gleaming riffs and funky rhythmic pulsations, “Ashes in the Rain” sounds like a mix of London Grammar and Haim. It's uneven, but only aesthetically; these more standardly rock songs do a fine job of being themselves.
When all’s said and done, I think I prefer the psychedelic grandstanding that happens when the band take it slower -- songs like “Cocoon”, with majestically emphasised melodies, develop and take me into a whole new place where everything’s fluorescent and weird. For a record written in two weeks, It's amazing that they even manage to create half of that world.
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