Mamalarky - Pocket Fantasy Music Album Reviews

Mamalarky - Pocket Fantasy Music Album Reviews
On its second album, the indie rock quartet balances complicated arrangements with playful moments of levity.

It’s easiest to connect with Mamalarky at odd angles. The songs on the indie quartet’s 2020 self-titled album married structured choruses with brash, jangly interludes. This approach made for a few inspired peaks (the cheeky psychedelia of “You Make Me Smile”) but also tended to fall back on tired formulas and melodies that didn’t quite stick. In these less distinctive moments, Mamalarky felt like a band still very much in the process of figuring itself out. Their new album, Pocket Fantasy, smartly doubles down on the proggy quirks and little incoherences that make them such a unique force while still maintaining the effortless charm of their previous music.

The band’s first full-length was released at the height of the pandemic, but Pocket Fantasy is the product of time spent all together, cooped up in a rented home in Atlanta. The exploratory nature of the songwriting reflects that closeness: You get the sense many of these tracks arose from jam sessions, without a particular destination in mind. “Dance Together,” a velvety highlight, begins in a shimmer of guitar. There’s a trancelike quality to bandleader Livvy Bennett’s voice as she sings about “glittering fractals moving across the roof.” But just as soon as the dreamstate arrives, it’s gone—a spiky, off-kilter chorus bleeds into high-pitched background squeals, and the keyboard and drums launch into what sounds like a frenetic take on elevator music. That’s not a knock on the sound of this record; Mamalarky are at their best when they’re messing around, riding melodies that spin and spiral into each other before they ever quite come to rest.

While nothing feels labored, the music is consistently complex. That Pocket Fantasy is a fun, breezy project doesn’t detract from the maturity of its arrangements or the technical qualities of the playing itself. (Bennett has made a point of emphasizing her chops, even outside of the music: Last year, she taught a series of instructional videos for Fender’s YouTube channel on subjects like fingerpicking and barre chords.) The irregular geometry of “Shining Armor” feels indebted to math rock, and “Little Robot” dabbles in wonky meter before resolving into one of the album’s prettiest codas—a moment of glittery respite in the wake of stabbing, anxious guitar.

Despite all the experimentation, Mamalarky are never fussy. These songs are sophisticated, but they aren’t overly serious or difficult. There’s no mistaking the playfulness of a band that features Uglydolls and friendship bracelets so prominently in their visuals. The lyrics, too, balance high-minded affectations (“Technology and nature tied/There is no reason we should hide,” goes one line on the opener, “Frog 2”) with earnest declarations—odes to friendship (“Mythical Bonds”) and nostalgic pleas for just a little more time with loved ones (“Now”). Even on tracks like “It Hurts,” where comfort feels far away, Bennett conveys her feelings plainly. “I know it’s bad timing but I need you very badly/And it seems that you can’t give that much,” she sings. The accessibility is part of what makes Mamalarky so immediately appealing; in their world, what’s complicated is never too intimidating.

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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.
Mamalarky - Pocket Fantasy Music Album Reviews Mamalarky - Pocket Fantasy Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 14, 2022 Rating: 5


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