Holding You Ain’t So Easy To Do
Songwriter Adam Pierce began his solo project Mice Parade (an anagram of his name) more than fifteen years ago and has managed to hold the band together this whole time, picking up several collaborators through the years to record albums and play together as an actual band. Mice Parade has released six compilations, one 12-inch, three 7-inches, an EP, a slew of remixes, and now ten full-lengths, with Candela (released on FatCat Records) being the most recent edition to this massive collection.
Candela—named after a bar in Madrid—is considered by Pierce to be a pop album. It features both male and female vocals, switching back and forth in either the form of a duet or one person singing a whole song solo, a lot of great drums, percussion and guitar playing. Because of these elements, this isn’t an album where the lyrics stand out and steal the show. The listeners have more important things to listen to a lot of the time.
The middle of the album loses richness. “Look See Dream Me” is instrumental and sounds like it could have been a track for a level in Sonic The Hedgehog (maybe Labyrinth Zone). The single “The Chill House” sounds like a 5-minute interlude.
The shapes of the songs change sporadically. “Contessa,” for instance, is one of the aforementioned duets and begins with a grunge-rock sound heard, but halfway through changes into what could be mistaken for a different song entirely as it becomes a much more delicate piece. “Pretending” changes tempo often and the guitar is carefully strummed and gentle for part of the song, but by the end becomes a loud, full, exciting song.
Final track “Warm Hand In Narnia” is a nice follow-up to “Contessa.” It mimics the sound of the guitar, it’s slow, a little sad, with crisp and clear drum beats and we’re left with lots of reverb at the end.
Candela is certainly unique in its own right, with plenty of pleasing-enough-to-the-ear tunes. But a more epic album would have roused a warmer welcome.