Blend three genres into one
With just over twenty years since the group’s creation in the year two thousand in Jonkoping, Sweden, The Mary Onettes still manages to create a unique niche in the indie rock sphere with their new EP What I feel in certain places released July 1. Although small in his discography, these three songs are creatively fused using musical techniques from electronic pop, dream pop, disco and other 80s-inspired instrumental timbres.
The first track, the self-titled “What I Feel In Some Places”, exemplifies the vibe the band were famous for right away. With the use of rarer instruments such as wind chimes, the band are able to hint at a dreamlike expanse with their musical composition before a single word is said. The vocals sound straight out of the 80s with the lead vocalist Philip Ekström has a voice that screams and floats against the instrumentals below him. The editing and mixing of this song is succinct and is still able to let the instruments shine and not be buried by the vocals, something few artists focus on.
The most popular song of the three is currently the second track “Mind On Fire”. Compared to the previous track, this sounds much more modern indie-inspired than its eighties-inspired counterpart. A common melodic tool that is currently used in indie is vocalization of harmonization up to a third. During the main chorus of this song, this method is used to create a very simple and easy to listen to melody. As for the instrumentation, the synth of this song in particular takes a back seat to give way to the hushed guitar and lighter percussion. At the end of the song, the synth picks up as the rest of the song slowly fades away, transitioning seamlessly into the third song.
Rounding out the trio, the EP’s third and final track “Palace” features the song’s most electronica-inspired elements. Beginning immediately after the transition, the song begins with a dreamy, drone-like synth that over time layers on to more beats. At first it’s just a melody above the drone notes, then a second, lower melody appears to create a lower harmony. The song itself is only about two and a half minutes long and has no lyrics at all. Even still, the inclusion of “Palace” in the trio of songs helps contrast with a calm and soothing end track to balance out the more intense and lively opening and middle songs.
Overall, the latest EP from The Mary Onettes What I feel in certain places is a short, sweet story that uses the pre-established techniques that the band has over twenty years of experience in making. Each of the three songs shows how diversity of styles can be a strength and tell a story in the process; From nostalgic ’80s to modern indie timbres and calculated electronic synth, this trio of songs shows every element in its mastery and is an easy-listening EP this summer.