Review – Mute Choir

Album: Silent Conversations
Release Date: Feb. 28, 2020
Genre: Indie rock

There isn’t a single turn taken on Silent Conversations for someone to see coming. Every bar of every track is entirely unpredictable, and yet the record still stands up on its own as a complete, cohesive piece of work. What Mute Choir has come up with here on their debut album is nothing short of enthralling. The Toronto-based three-piece blends together influences from indie, electronic, funk, pop, and rock in this anxious, fever dream of a record. The pace ebbs and flows from bouncing, spastic electro-funk tracks to toned-down R&B-styled ballads, all presented with a level of musicianship that far outshines similar-sounding artists who may be jumping on a trend. What’s being done here on Silent Conversations is intentional and musical. There are no cheap pop hooks or gratuitous electronic drops on this record.

Right off the bat, “Welcome To The Neighbourhood” appears as though it’s going to simply ease you into the madness of this record, but it really just tosses you right off the deep end into some pretty eclectic and very catchy electronic beats. “Fences” shows off the impressive songwriting ability of Mute Choir as we hear the band ride over top of the same analogue bassline for much of the song, and yet almost nothing from the rest of the song repeats as each section builds and evolves before eventually blowing up into static. “Shadowboxing” was one of the singles off of this record and definitely more on the more radio-friendly, accessible side of things, featuring a simple beat and a vocally-driven chorus. This song doesn’t break away completely from the weirdness of the album by any means, however, as it simply works as one of the records few valleys among the many peaks that helps tie things down and show off the band’s lyricism. “Election Season” is by far the standout trip-out song on the record, reaching almost 7 minutes long and touching on nearly every voice the band has at their disposal: distorted guitars, violins, some wobbling synths, and just about every wacky, glitchy sound you would hope to hear thrown in for this journey of a song. The record fittingly closes out on the track “Graves”. This track is a relatively simple, vocally-driven synth-wave song that helps bring the entire record back down to the ground in an epilogue sort of way.

Overall, this debut effort from Mute Choir is exciting. Exciting not just because it is a very good record. But exciting because it’s a record that seems as though many artists over the last couple of years have been trying to make it, but none have done so with the level of musicianship and songwriting ability that Mute Choir has brought to the table here with Silent Conversations.

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