Macie Stewart - Mouth Full of Glass Music Album Reviews

Macie Stewart - Mouth Full of Glass Music Album Reviews
Best known as one half of art-rock duo Ohmme, the Chicago musician turns towards lush, baroque-tinged folk on a solo debut with a reverent approach to self-knowledge and growth.

Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist Macie Stewart has had a hand in making some of the best tracks of the past five years transcendent. Their string work added a vital spark to the single that SZA named after Drew Barrymor and the title track of indie rock band Whitney’s breakthrough album. Stewart’s own career is a tour of the Chicago scene: Starting with the genre-splicing group Kid These Days, which featured rapper Vic Mensa and a debut album produced by Jeff Tweedy, Stewart (who uses she and they pronouns) honed their skills in bands like the avant-garde jazz group Marker. Later, she became a session player for Top 40 acts like Chance the Rapper and underground stars like Nnamdi. Most visibly, she and Sima Cunningham make up the avant-pop duo Ohmme, who released their third album last year.

A few years ago, Stewart described these vast collaborations as a necessary way to sustain energy. “It takes a cross-pollination of communities to ensure that you stay creative,” she said. But at a certain point, she realized that lending her talents elsewhere had plateaued her own journey toward self-understanding. “I didn’t know who I was or what I sounded like as an individual,” she explains in press materials for her debut solo album, Mouth Full of Glass. Still, collaboration remains central to the work: Stepping away from Ohmme’s combustible art-rock, Stewart recruited several Chicago musicians, including Ben LaMar Gay and Sen Morimoto, to embellish her poetic, baroque-tinged folk. The project’s cinematic quality and refreshing self-awareness makes clear that working with others strengthened the language needed to express herself.

In their lyrics, Stewart zero in on personal flaws as a way to move forward. On the lush, romantic opener “Finally,” gentle, rippling guitar plucks introduce a meditation on opening up amid misgivings. “I’m wrong and I know it/But not willing to show it,” Stewart sings sweetly. Their voice ascends cherubically as they admit that they’re finally ready to tell the truth, first to themself and then to others. Lia Kohl’s cello rushes in like cleansing water alongside their acknowledgements of personal growth.

In Stewart’s telling, confronting oneself is a curious journey, full of vibrant images that ground complex emotions in tangible metaphors. On “Where We Live,” her words become the brick and mortar as she builds a future home, warm with fire, honey, and wine. When she compares herself to the namesake of “Garter Snake,” confessing to feeling “wicked” while accompanied by angelic backing vocals and blooming synths, it feels like a tender embrace of our shadow selves. Stewart doesn’t indulge in self-loathing; instead, a trickle of piano or swell of saxophone make the prospect of change seem beautiful. Near the album’s end, on “Tone Pome,” she extends the motif of change to natural elements. Soft strums accompany images of snow; swirls of cello enter when Stewart begins to sing of spring’s arrival. Although pretty, it’s the weakest track—Glass’ success doesn’t rely on Stewart’s romantic lyricism, but her animated compositions and vocal gymnastics.

The best songs on Mouth Full of Glass feel like they’re alive. Finger-plucked guitars mimic falling rain as Stewart’s melodies wind through the octaves like ivy, and the string arrangements feel as detailed as hand-embroidered tapestries. Most stunning is the quasi-titular third track, “Mouthful of Glass,” which recalls the decadent work of George Martin, specifically “Sea of Time” from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. With few words, Stewart shifts the emphasis to tone, elongating her phrases. Low piano notes fumble in the background, and a pearly sound recalls a leaky faucet. Inspired by a dream and grounded in no concrete narrative, the magic is in the satiny vocals and paisley compositions, a world unto itself.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Macie Stewart - Mouth Full of Glass Music Album Reviews Macie Stewart - Mouth Full of Glass Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 04, 2021 Rating: 5


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