By Jhoni Jackson
Now on his second LP, Mikal Cronin has fully escaped the confines of being simply “Ty Segall’s bandmate.” He’s been at it for a few years now, but MCII solidifies Cronin as a luminary crooner in the garage-pop realm.
The album is contemplative and compelling, replete with energetic jams like “Change” and thoughtful slow-burners like “Peace of Mind.” Cronin tries to reason with his anxieties and perpetual restlessness, which generally stem from the inevitable uncertainties of life. “There’s an answer for another man/ I’ve yet to find a way,” he confesses on “Weight.”
The San Francisco transplant’s first full-length was similarly themed, much of it a result of post-college insecurity. He’s still working it out on this one, but musically he has most certainly found his way. Cronin’s take on pop this go ‘round is grander as he incorporates ornate instrumentation and more elaborate arrangements in general. His melodies seep deep in the skin, whether raucous or reflective. It’s sentimentality and self-doubt basked in sunshine, liveliness leveled by unease. Mikal Cronin’s music is garage-pop gone epic.
Mikal Cronin plays the Earl Sunday, June 23, with fellow Bay Area act Shannon & the Clams and Atlanta band Del Vinicci.