We all know that it’s impossible to make a second “first impression”. Bands are breaking on the radio before they even have an album out on the shelves these days, giving artist’s less and less time to solidify their sound prior to the world casting judgement. This is making freshman releases increasingly more important compared to years past when a band’s success could be judged on their ability to triumph over the age old “Sophomore Slump”, and New York based Misterwives certainly seem to have taken that into account with their freshly released debut album Our Own House.
Most folks by now are familiar with the bands radio single “Reflections”, the funk-riddled pop hit that’s been crushing Top 40 charts over the course of the past few months. Believe it or not, that song merely scratches the surface of the band’s impressive skill set which is showcased on their full-length release. The track listing of this album walks fans through a perfectly orchestrated display of the bands stylistic abilities, keeping listeners entertained, intrigued, and actively engaged in songs from beginning to end. The album opens with the powerhouse title track “Our Own House” - pulling listeners in with mysterious piano chords quietly accompanying vocalist Mandy Lee until the band explodes into the chorus. Ebbing and flowing through tempos and emotions, Our Own House progresses from the pure pop of “Reflections” into the half-time love song “Oceans”, as well as anthemic tracks like “Best I Can Do” and one of my personal favorites, “No Need For Dreaming”. Taking things slower with tracks “Coffins” and “Vagabond”, the band’s experimental choices in melodies as well as tempos truly give vocalist Lee a chance to showcase her exceptional talent. A voice without any kind of present day competition, Lee sings with tangible power and passion. Mix that with her unique vocal range and the ethereal feelings evoked by the use of her falsetto? It’s impossible to deny the power of her voice (In case you don’t believe me, take a quick listen to the jazzy outro of “Oceans”, and tell me that’s not beautiful). Pair all this with driving rhythms and well crafted melodies, and Our Own House quickly becomes one of the most tantalizing pop releases of the past three years.
I’m very anxious to see how this well-crafted collection is presented live, but lucky for us Coloradans, we don’t have to wait very long as Misterwives are set to play a sold out show at The Bluebird Theatre on Monday, March 9th, followed quickly by an absurd amount of sets throughout SXSW Music Week down in Austin, TX March 16-23rd. If you’re a fan of pop, horns, dancing, or simply damn good music, I implore you to give Our Own House at least one listen before it’s accepted into pop-culture’s default catalog.