Hearts of Animals
Even in a city whose musical denizens have a well-documented propensity for band-hopping, Mlee Marie Suprean is an especially prolific co-conspirator. Her shimmering and coyly pretty voice, elegantly phrased guitar work and slightly skewed pop sensibility can be found in no fewer than four consistent projects, with frequent cameos in others. She's like Joe Mathlete in reverse. While Suprean's efforts are well realized in each of her many musical incarnations, Hearts of Animals is where she truly shines. There's room for a little bit of everything in HOA, yet the music never feels like a kitchen-sink contrivance. Superb songcraft and a delicate touch allow Suprean to create music that is at once astonishingly heavy and gossamer-light; under her spell, seemingly disparate concepts and styles play nicely with one another. Dense noise provides the perfect foil for power-pop sugar; cheaply effective Casio beats underscore stabbing waves of pseudo-shoegaze psychedelia. This is musical magical realism to turn Gabriel García Márquez green-eyed with envy.— Nicholas L. Hall
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