The Mynabirds: Be Here Now (Saddle Creek) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 28th, 2024  

The Mynabirds

Be Here Now

Saddle Creek

Sep 07, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

This is music to carry us through the dark night. Written and recorded in just two weeks following January’s Inauguration and Women’s March, Laura Burhenn’s new Mynabirds offering, Be Here Now, is both a protest against the current state of the world and a reminder to cherish what we hold dear. In doing so, Be Here Now is a celebration of love, freedom, and art. This is best encapsulated on piano-led lament, “Golden Age.” A complex number, mourning the passing of “Leonard and Bowie” and realizing that it’s impossible to remain in rose-colored dreams. She is also fully aware of the difficulty, bordering on futility, of preaching to the choir who continue to sing those Leonard Cohen and David Bowie songs. But the last verse makes it very clear that she’s not giving up.

The opening title track is a big ‘70s chant anthem. Its steady slow stomp, chords, lead lines, and feel are firmly from that decade, although the synths are distinctly ‘80s. It’s not so much a song as a rallying cry to stand together in positivity. “New Moon” shifts gears into full-on synthpop, a kraut-poppy Goldfrapp-esque race over nighttime highways. “Witch Wolf,” its title a pun on the American Indian fable, features more of this frantic feel, while “Ashes In the Rain” slips back onto a majestic nocturnal dancefloor.

But Be Here Now‘s true highlights are “Cocoon” and “Wild Hearts.” The first is a fantastic and fantastically dreamy single that should be near the top of any pop fan’s year-end list. It sways gorgeously, mesmerizing you with the little trips and sweeps of the vocal line. That lovely ‘oo’ at the end of the chorus is positively enchanting. “Wild Hearts” is the perfect closing number, that outsider celebration of all that is worth celebrating, to see us through to a brighter dawn. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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