Blending three genres into one
With just over twenty years since the group’s conception back in the year two thousand in Jönköping, Sweden, The Mary Onettes still manages to create a unique niche in the indie rock sphere with their new EP What I Feel In Some Places released July 1st. Although small in its discography, all three of these songs are creatively melded together by utilizing musical techniques from electronica pop, dream pop, disco and other ’80s-inspired instrumental timbres.
The first track, the self-titled “What I Feel In Some Places,” illustrates the vibe the band has been famous for right away. With the use of more uncommon instruments such as wind chimes, the band is able to allude to a dream-like expanse with their musical composition before a single word is said. The vocals feel straight from the ’80s with lead vocalist Philip Ekström having a voice that calls out and flutters against the instrumentals underneath him. The editing and mixing of this song are succinct and are still able to let the instruments shine and not get buried by the vocals—something that not many artists focus on.
The most popular song of the three currently is the second track “Mind On Fire.” Compared to the prior track, this feels much more modern indie-inspired than its prior eighties-inspired counterpart. A common melodic tool that is used in indie currently is the vocalization of harmonizing up a third. During the main chorus of this song, this method is utilized to create a very simple and easy to listen to tune. As for the instrumentation, the synth in this song in particular takes a backseat to leave way for the muffled guitar and more light percussion. As the song ends, the synth picks back up as the rest of the song slowly ebbs away, transitioning seamlessly into the third song.
To round off the trio, the third and final track of the EP “Palace” has the most electronica-inspired elements in the song. Starting out immediately after transitioning, the song begins with a dreamy and drone-like synth that over time gets layered on with more beats on top of it. At first, it is just one melody above the drone notes and then a second lower melody appears to create a lower harmony. The song itself only lasts around two and a half minutes and has no lyrics at all. Even still, “Palace” ’s inclusion in the trio of songs helps contrast with a calm and soothing end track to balance out the more intense and lively beginning and middle songs.
Overall, The Mary Onettes’s newest EP What I Feel In Some Places is a short and sweet story that utilizes the preestablished techniques that the group has had over twenty years of experience crafting. Each of the three songs shows how diversity of styles can be a strength and tell a story in the process; from the nostalgic ’80s to modern indie timbres and calculated electronica synth, this trio of songs shows each element to its mastery and is an easy to listen to EP this summer.