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Music Reviews

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Review by Alyson Stokes | January 31, 2014 at 2:00 PM

For a band that only began creating music in late 2012 and played their very first live show in February 2013, MisterWives hold nothing back in their debut EP Reflections. In fact, the NYC-based trio blasts their pop-heavy tracks in full force. Vocalist Mandy Lee channels the likes of Lorde and Ellie Goulding, throwing in her own folksy twist and incredible vocal range. It’s easy to get lost in Lee’s mesmerizing chime, but in combination with the instrumental talent of Etienne Bowler (Drums) and Will Hehir (Bass), MisterWives are certainly an act to watch for in 2014. Reflections opens with the upbeat “Twisted Tongue,” which shows off Lee’s subtle sassiness mixed with a sweet bubblegum pop-princess voice and the band’s ability to intertwine fiery folk, soul and indie pop into one perfectly blended concoction. It’s almost as if Lee is too sweet to sing such a line – “You just managed to mask what’s now clear as glass / And that’s just you’re an asshole” – but the juxtaposition of her voice and the lyrics paints a perfect bittersweet story of failed relationships. The title track “Reflections” starts off slowly but picks up with the same up-tempo beat as “Twisted Tongue,” carried primarily by Bowler’s rhythmic drumming. It isn’t until “Coffins” that listeners are introduced to a more solemn side of MisterWives. Placed in the middle of the six-track sampler that is the EP, “Coffins” slows things down by dismissing the synthesizers, trumpets, and drums that make you want to stomp your feet and replacing them with somber strings as Lee croons, “How do you soften / The thought of carrying coffins / We were so alive / Only to see us wither and die.” Though a seemingly far cry away from the other electric songs on Reflections, “Coffins” is no doubt a key track on the debut EP. Naturally, without missing a beat, MisterWives pick up the tempo once more with “Kings and Queens,” followed by the last two tracks on the EP, “Vagabond” and “Imagination Infatuation.” While each track, aside from “Coffins,” shares a similar sound, it’s a sound you actually like, and each song delivers a different vibe and an element of excitement, ensuring listeners can hear tracks several times without becoming bored or tired of them. Though they’ve already been compared to the likes of Grouplove, Imagine Dragons, and The Lumineers, it seems MisterWives cannot yet be placed into any one category. Proving too eclectic to be boxed in, let’s just call MisterWives “genreless” because that’s what they are – pushing the envelope in pop/indie/folk/rock/alternative.

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