There’s been no lack of excellent releases from the recently formed Prefect Records, the endeavor born out of the sun-setting of Joanna Gruesome, acting as a stable for the bands that have grown out of their ashes. While most of the records that the label has focused on include a member of JG working out something new the exception is Hartlepool band Mt. Misery, a trio of young locals who’ve caught the ear of the label. The band’s debut is less stylistically rooted in the Creation/Sarah crux of their labelmates, but still indebted to a lot of the warm-hearted sympathies that cross that axis. Evoking the kind of Clean ‘n Go-Betweens via Captured Tracks model of early the early 2010’s jangle boom, the band would fit quite nicely alongside copies of Real Estate and Beach Fossils on any shelf. They spend the bulk of Once Home, No Longer working their way through soft-focus hooks that ripen in the sun and intimate recordings that hug the speakers with a cable knit warmth.
Winding their way through melancholy loss and love, the band know their audience, and work the heavy-heart harmonies well. The record is draped in an autumnal briskness that’s gonna come in handy in a couple of months. That’s probably the most endearing quality. The record is a comfort, the kind of record that could wind up on an endless loop to lessen a breakup or just get a person through their sophomore year of college. Those kind of records seem simple on paper, but its hard to create this kind of cradle and not have it falter into shmaltz. Some bands can make emotive, heart-on-their-sleeve records work (see the aforementioned Real Estate) and some trip over their intentions, winding up a mush sifting through the speakers. Mt. Misery certainly seem to be on the right track to keep in the former camp. This one’s hard to hunt out in The States, but should it find its way onto your stereo, it might be hard to get it back off.
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