July 22, 2020 Misterwives – SUPERBLOOM (Album Review)
New York City’s six piece powerhouse Misterwives has caught the happy bug with their new release, SUPERBLOOM, out July 24th.
Being released on their newly joined record label, Fueled by Ramen, Misterwives has been bringing their technicolor music to life since 2012, when Lead Singer Mandy Lee wanted to create a ’80s cover band for a party. Since then becoming an original act, Lee, along with Etienne Bowler (drums), Jesse Blum (keys, accordion, trumpet), William Hehir (bass), Marc Campbell (guitar), and Mike Murphy (saxophone), has continued to strive to always bring the house down with their bubblegum-positive daydream of a musical aesthetic.
Originally signed to Photo Finish Records, they crashed the party with their EP Reflections in January of 2014, which led to tours with the likes of American Authors and Half Moon Run. They continued to play the festival circuit and released Our Own House in February of 2015 to rave reviews and were set to be the golden children of the Indie Pop scene. Their high energy performances caused continuous traction and as they grew a fanbase with the release of Connect the Dots in 2017. Moving forward, 2019 came as a time of change for the band as they chose to sign with a new label prior to the release of their Mini Bloom EP last November. Now, Misterwives look to keep the excitement going with a more mature sound that tap into more personal topics with SUPERBLOOM.
A 19 track showstopper, it opens up the first single of the year, ironically- titled, “The End.” With a soaring guitar hook on loop and a sense of introspective realism from Lee’s vocals, it possesses a sense of yearning with her raspiness, something that fits perfectly. It is like a self-affirmation that is made in the beginning of a yoga practice and their affirmation is to make the most of their days and no regrets.
Following next, “Ghost” is a great party starter jam and harks to the use of ’80s style synthesizers. Upbeat, the tempo ironically gives way to lyrics about not wanting to fade away with love. “Whywhywhy,” one of the first singles released, continues to speak of this sense of longing for lost love and has a mellow Pop beat easy to tap foot to and creates a sense of calm. All this in mind, from the first 3 songs alone, lyrically, the maturity of this band is on the forefront. “Alone” seems to be an emotional pause with instrumental similar to that Maggie Rogers and Halsey. This is while “Stories” adds a slight creepy ever changing instrumentation from soft piano to light yet punching synthesizers. It is as if self perceptions are being twisted between what is fake and what is real. This is as “Valentines Day” continues the trickles of feeling that seem to be an emotional spiral as the calm murmur of the keys and Lee’s sullen sad vocal mannerisms reflect this.
The forthcoming track, “Over the Rainbow,” is a culmination of the whirling spiral of love loss and perception vs reality. Effective, it uses heavy crescendoing guitar and creepy synth tracking while Lee’s vocals angrily soar. The point is heard loud and clear while “It’s My Turn” takes on that perspective, however, with an upbeat feel and a sense of learning to let go. Metaphorical rebound seems to come full circle with “Find My Way Home,” with an Electropop reflection on learning to let go and go back to what is important as keys take a heavy hand. Poignantly titled “7-2” is a culmination of learning to piece yourself back together. This is while “Rock Bottom” offers a disco-eqsue guitar and brass heavy track that is well-deserving of single status.
Pressing on the brakes, “Coming Up For Air,” is an upbeat tranquil reflection of heartbreaks after effects while “Oxygen” is that conclusional arrival, playing to thoughts of Regina Spektor’s “Infidelity.” This is before “Running in Place” which is an unplugged piano upbeat track which screams sincerity and self reflection of independence. Then the most recently released single “Decide to Be Happy” is the sense of self closure that is so needed for this album lyrically.
A long, in-depth record, eighties techno synths and heavy brass return in full swing for track 16, “Love Me True.” Starting to come to a close, “3 Small Words” lyrically comes full circle with love starting a new and how those 3 small words can take a strong hold with a Funk multicolored instrumental. This is right before “Muse” takes love’s lyrical stronghold and synth background melodies to a whole new upbeat level. Which leads us to the finale, the closing title-track and additional single, which is proclamation of self love and acceptance with a twist of R&B making for a full blooming of emotion.
Misterwives has made New York proud with maintaining their upbeat energetic essence, while combating anxiety and the roller coasters of emotions as they have grown. That said, SUPERBLOOM is a full antithesis of loves, ups and downs, the wonderful realization of self acceptance, and self worth. Accomplishing a great deal while keeping the ’80s technicolor party going with true, bright aesthetic, Crypticrock gives SUPERBLOOM 4 out of 5 Stars.