With the first two albums I have looked into this year, they have had more of the pop punk and pop rock vibe, but this time, I look into more of an atmospheric indie rock landscape, on the new album from Mimicking Birds called Layers Of Us.
Mimicking Birds is the brainchild of creator Nate Lacy, who for years, has been looking into ‘exploring his inner world and his connection with the universe at large’, as stated in their Spotify biography. This is really shown on this album, with the music and in the lyrics, as it takes you to another way of thinking, while being very enjoyable to the ears and mind.
The album was produced by Jeremy Sherrer, who recorded with the band for their 2014 album Eons, and begins with “Dust Layers“, which looks into the idea of being yourself, and being ok with things changing. This is shown in the lyrics, “Aim towards the ground, you cannot miss or aim high if that’s your bullseye“, and the chorus line, “it’s cool how you are just you“.
Sonically, the track is based around a nice guitar melody with synths to create a mood of wonder, and it blows me away how this was done, with the song being dark and hopeful at the same time. “Another Time” continues this same theme musically, but lyrically, it addresses the kind of loss that eats away at you, and harbours feelings of having to walk down a long lonely road.
The tone of the guitar gives off a more optimistic vibe, showing that there is indeed hope, despite the bleak lyrics. The end of the song builds on this rather well, as it feels like walking into the sunset – it is really beautiful to think about, and this song does that well.
“Sunlight Daze” explores the idea of coming out on the other side of a bleak situation, the better for it. The first verse lyrics “Sunlight, it’s a new day, made it to anywhere, in and out of your own maze, sunlight ends the dark, saw the rest of you walking along where you would embark“, put this across nicely, and the vocals of Nate Lacy, adds to the whole thing.
On “Island Shore“, we get a look at all the emotions you feel when things go bad, and this is put across with all three verses starting with “Behind… Behind me”, “Inside… Inside me”, and “Ahead… Ahead of me”, respectively. With the nice synth lead line and upbeat feel to the instrumentation, we get another thought-provoking track with a weird but cool ode to David Bowie.
“Great Wave” has a similar layout with just synths and Nate’s vocals. The track has a dreamy feel to it, an and thematically explores believing into yourself. With the chorus line, “A great wave“, and reverb backing vocals, it really gives the listener the feeling that something great is coming. The epic bridge instrumental really adds to this feeling, and turns out to be my favourite track on the album.
On “A Part“, the band go with a banjo guitar instrumentation throughout, with the track coming across as another attempt at looking at the world and being a part of something, this is shown in the lines, “What an amazing piece of the invention who made you, any way you divide it the constants never seem to skew, it’s all a part“. With the accompanying steady drumbeat and Nate’s outlook on the world, you again feel like you belong.
This leads very nicely into “Belongings“, which explores finally belonging somewhere with someone you love, which the album had been alluding to previously. “Belongings” helps put this sentiment across, and with the opening line “I am a part of you You are a part of me“, along with the heat string arrangements, this is a well put together love song.
“Lumens” sees Nate looking at letting everything go, that is hurting inside, and how that can help you be better in the long run, backed by guitar arrangements, with synths once again , which could bring a tear to your eye. With lines like, “Where we’re supposed to let everything out, ain’t nothing left to gripe about“, the track does exactly that.
The shortest song on the album, “Time To Waste” does the opposite of what it says on the title, and even with the recurring lyrics, “All the time to waste“, the song ends as soon as it starts, leading to the album’s closing track, “One Eyed Jack“, which makes for a great way to end this beautiful album.
“One Eyed Jack” again explores losing someone, but takes a closer look at attempting to remember the ones we have lost, as the years go by. With the music putting you in that mindset, you can’t help but feel the lyrics of the song deeply. The lines, “How long until a memory fades, I was yours from the beginning” does this as well.
I love how this album is like a journey of a man finding himself after a loss, and overall, I can’t believe this is the first time I have heard of this band, but I am now a fan because of this album, with its amazing put together lyrics and great instrumentation. The record really puts you in a dream state with every song, and makes the mind think and care about every subject matter it brings up.
I highly recommend if you want an album that makes you think and relax at the same time, you should really check this band out. My favourite songs on the album are “Dust Layers”, “Belongings” and “One Eyed Jack”. Mimicking Birds’ Layers Of Us is out now via Glacial Pace Recordings, purchase it on iTunes here.
Words by Stuart Irvine