Mini Mansions Return with One Hell of an Album

I wrote about this record last year just as it was announced. I was hyped up on it because Mini Mansion’s debut album is still one of my favorites to be released in the past 10 years. It was like if Brian Wilson hung out with Elliott Smith and Wilson passed on some of his darker psychedelic inclinations to Smith. With a five year wait period between these two albums, I knew that there was no way that they could sound the same, but The Great Pretenders, Mini Mansion’s sophomore LP, caught me off guard. Instead of stepping deeper into the dark, the first listen I had made me feel like they sugar-coated themselves. It turned me off the record for a while and I didn’t bother playing anything past the first five tracks.

Then I saw them at Austin Psych Fest back in May.

Two words: Holy. Fuck.

I knew the band was tight as hell live but hearing their new songs live changed things for me. I recognized the dynamism more fully after hearing certain tracks and began to realize that this album had more life in it than I thought. Soon after, I gave the album another listen. Then another. Then another. Then another. Etc. Etc.

The highlight for me is the two middle tracks, “Honey, I’m Home” and “Mirror Mountain.” On first listen, I thought they were both one track, but really, they just segue into each other so smoothly that the casual listener wouldn’t notice. That’s fucking brilliant and so are the tracks.

I could go on and on, but if you’re like me, you probably just want to hear the tracks. Check out said tracks below along with their psychedelic video for “Vertigo.” The Great Pretenders is available now and I’m sure that Mini Mansions will make their way back into town sometime soon. Don’t sleep on it.

Honey I’m Home – Mini Mansions

Mirror Mountain – Mini Mansions

Vertigo – Mini Mansions

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