The press talk surrounding Mikal Cronin’s forthcoming second album MCII has all been about how the album is inspired by all the “problems and situations [he’s] been working through” since his first album, and with it comes a little bit of tentativeness. This is shown in the chorus to “Shout It Out”: “should I shout it out? / should I let it go? / do I need to know what I’m waiting for?” It’s quite a different approach than the track that introduced most of us to him where he brazenly cried, “I don’t want apathy / I don’t want empathy / I don’t want everything / I don’t want anything.” This isn’t the only thing that’s changed in Cronin’s approach; the song’s verses have a clean indie-pop leaning, eschewing the guitar haze that clouded all of his debut, and even when some fuzz comes in on the chorus it doesn’t enshroud the song, instead staying back and letting the power-pop double tracked vocals take centre stage. It’s not what we might have expected from Cronin, but it’s undoubtedly an ear-worm and has a sound that makes more sense on his new home, Merge, where he’ll have the opportunity to increase his reach, and songs like “Shout It Out” are certainly going to help in that aspect too.
MCII is out May 7th via Merge
Plugging away since 1999, The National finally hit mainstream success with the release of their 2010 album High Violet. Of course, this entailed their first world tour, but in the new documentary Mistaken For Strangers, it’s only the backdrop for the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who had no idea that these short videos he was shooting would turn into a public document of their troubled, if still loving brotherhood.
We talk with Israeli rockers Vaadat Charigim about some of their favorite records.
We talk with Yvonne Ambree and Jesse Barnes of Take Berlin about some of the records which influenced the recording of their debut EP, Lionize.
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