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A review of...

Undying Color by Mind Over Mirrors

Date: 
February 17, 2017
Writer: 
Adam Millard
7.5

The gist

Jaime Fennelly forms a band on his sixth LP under the Mind Over Mirrors moniker

The music

Mind Over Mirrors is a musical project assembled by Jaime Fennelly, and this, his sixth full length album, was spawned from a solitary two week recording session in a cabin near the Mississippi river. Here Fennelly recorded the harmonium and synthesizer elements which are the core of this record, and the Mind Over Mirrors project in general. However, this time around the recordings have the added punch of a full array of musicians, who add a little more character and dimension to Fennelly's ambiguous blueprints. 

Jim Becker's fiddle is probably the most instantly noticeable inclusion, featuring heavily on the opening track "Restore & Slip" and also on "Glossolaliac". It gives the tracks an air of traditional folk music - but this is folk done in a trancey, repetitive manner. The results sound like The Velvet Underground mixed with 1980s house music. It's an interesting mix, but i'm not sure i'm fully on board with the genre quite yet. Give it time. Second track "Gravity Wake" seems much more natural, sounding more like an Bowie/Eno collaboration with dramatic keyboard chords, ominous droning textures and vocals which sound other worldly drifting in and out of its 12 minute run-time.

Elsewhere, on the wonderful "Splintering", we find the group experimenting with minimal synthesizer sounds and angelic vocals, producing something reminiscent of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein's recent (and equally excellent) Stranger Things soundtrack. Now would be a good place to say that the unique vocals supplied sporadically by Janet Beveridge Bean and Haley Fohr are always a welcome inclusion, helping to lift the album out of the traditional ambient/drone/synthwave bracket and into something slightly different.

All considered, this is a fine batch of songs. Songs which are similar enough to form a consistent LP, but also different enough to keep you from falling into a ambient slumber. Jaime Fennelly's musical exploration and experimentation seems to be still bearing fruit, six albums down the line.