Mint Julep: Save your season (2011)

El post de hoy tiene mucho de continuista con el de ayer referido a Spc Eco. El debut del dúo de Portland Mint Julep (el nombre viene de un cóctel a base de menta que se bebe en Estados Unidos) tiene muchas similitudes con el de los británicos. Hay vínculos familiares también en Mint Julep, puesto que el proyecto está formado por el matrimonio Keniff, Hollie y Keith. Musicalmente hablando, las igualdades van mucho más allá, puesto que Mint Julep surca las aguas Dream-Pop de la misma forma que aquellos. Además, también añaden influencias Shoegazers, Electro-Pop y crean atmósferas ensoñadoras creando ambientes preciosistas y oníricos a base de electrónica y sobre empleando la dulce y suave voz de Hollie, que en el disco es un instrumento más, destacando mucho más que la de Rose Berlin. Los ecos de los primeros Depeche Mode o especialmente Cocteau Twins son huellas indelebles durante todo Save your season, un álbum que igual muestra una cara más electrónica que melódica o ambiental. Un abanico bastante agradable de sensaciones por descubrir para los oídos Shoegazers: “I lie awake, dreaming of landscapes in the rain”. Interesante.

Mint Julep – Save your season (2011)

“I lie awake, dreaming of landscapes in the rain”… so begins the very first lyric on Mint Julep’s Save Your Season LP. And it’s that kind of dreamy, ethereal ideology that underpins the sound that follows.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Keith and Hollie Kenniff are the husband and wife team behind Mint Julep and they aim to make lustrous pop, which is wistful and mellifluous yet simultaneously powerful.
It’s hallmarked by Hollie’s seductive, dreamy vocals that serve as a soothing accompaniment to Keith’s atmospheric keyboards and distorted guitars.
What results feels occasionally shoe-gaze and sometimes cinematic, clearly benefiting on that side of things from Keith’s background as a composer for films such as Harmony Korine’s Mister Lonely and the trailer for Sam Mendes’Revolutionary Road.
But I guess what marks Save Your Season out the most as an LP to recommend is the fact that it’s not afraid to be eclectic.
Hence, while Aviary, the track we quoted from at the top of this review, is laidback to the point of being almost shoegaze, its follow-up [and former single] Days Gone By introduces a thumping back-beat and some rousing guitar riffs to resemble something more akin to an Elbow track, or Doves’Pounding. It’s a clear highlight.
There’s similarly a snappy back-beat and driving guitar sound to title trackSave Your Season, which is made to seem more dreamy by Hollie’s trippy vocal delivery. But it’s a great song for driving to on a dark night, with the lonely road ahead of you.
To The Sea marks something of a surprise in the way it resorts to a harder electronic sound, the crisp synths reminding me of early Depeche Mode. It’s striking in a different kind of way and marks another sonic departure for the LP… the drums and haunted vocal delivery conjuring images of tempestuous waves crashing against rocks on a grey day.
But therein lies another of the album’s powers… to draw your imagination and provide a soundtrack to your thoughts, while also providing the odd pop moment to bring you back such as Cherry Radio (a nod to the sound of The Knife or Dubstar.
Just occasionally, one or two tracks fail to provide that freshness to make them really stand out and some more like fillers (No Letting Go and Staymark something of a lull, or at least shouldn’t follow each other).
But Mint Julep end on a high with the double combo of Time Is Distance, which draws on a Cure-like guitar structure as well as driving synths and pepped up vocals, and the wistful yet upbeat synth-pop of Why Don’t We, which rightly became a former IndieLondon single of the week thanks to its sweeping harmonies, delicate female vocals and luminous melodies.
Put together, Mint Julep have crafted a charming piece of work that enchants, beguiles and captivates for most of its running time” (

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