Muzz is a three-piece indie supergroup made up of Interpol’s Paul Banks, Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman and Matt Barrick of The Walkmen. In early June they released their debut record, Muzz, an album in the making since 2015. So, was it worth the wait?
For the most part, yes.
Muzz has an unhurried, fluid and warm way to it. It’s opening tracks, “Bad Feeling” (one of my favourites of the year) and “Evergreen”, a dizzy, loose, psychedelic doused standout, are so gentle they leave you wanting to return to their comforts.
Carry on into the record and you find “Patchouli”, a folky, synth soaked wanderer of a track that owes so much to folk-rock of old.
As well as “Bad Feeling”, three further singles were released: “Red Western Sky”, “Broken Tambourine”, and “Knuckleduster”.
“Broken Tambourine” (music video below) sounds as though it was recorded in a garden, with Barrick romancing the piano and Kaufman concocting visceral guitar melodies. While “Knuckleduster” delivers the album’s greatest rush, the closest thing to chaos you’ll find in its 43 minutes, “Red Western Sky” circles the runway without ever taking off. It’s a nice song an’ all, but heard many times over it becomes somewhat of a filler track.
Two other tracks that help tie Muzz together are “Everything Like It Used To Be” and “All Is Dead To Me”. Both of these build off acoustic, folky foundations and introduce instrumental layers, becoming fuller as they go on.
When it comes to lyricism, the album explores mental health and its affect on life in general. In an April interview with NME, Banks stated that the lyrics of the record make up “more a compilation of vignettes than a cohesive whole”, but seem to deal with “musings on mental health in general.”
He added “There’s a lot on there about depression, coming through depression, and the impact of problems of mental health on a life. That can manifest itself in different ways and to different degrees, and I guess the record touches on the thread of self-analysis.”
The resulting record is one that will garner its fair share of fans. The question is, will we all have a second record to look forward to?
Photo credit: Muzz Bandcamp and NME