Monday, December 16, 2019

mackenzie nine - "Shards in a Bag"

With the unassuming self-description of "me and my instruments and iPhone recorder," mackenzie nine is upfront: these tracks are bare, but pure - a songwriter interested in capturing honest expression. You can hear where these songs were written; can see the rooms they're from. Each track consists of nine's vocals, consistently triumphant, bodied, and warm; accompanied by a single instrument, the chords at times hesitantly poking through background noise and hum. The latest, "Shards in a Bag," shows nine has refined her craft to be more concise, balancing pop melody and heartfelt lyricism.

Though the latest tracks have the cleanest production (and, in turn, the most accurate depiction of nine's prowess), there are highlights throughout the discography which are as varied as the genres and moods captured. "Who+Am+I" features nine showcasing her vocal range, more consistent and assured than her earlier works, with huge melodic runs lending themselves to the pleading, questioning hook, "Who am I?" Though folk roots shine throughout most tracks, there's also the melancholy, wounded piano ballad, "I Wanna Know It All Xx," and the ukelele-led, religion-critical "I Am Eve," with the wonderful lyric, "When one day a Snake came up to me, saying, 'Do you ever wonder why Adam came first and God made you to satisfy his thirst?" Throughout, nine's output showcases a diverse musician exploring the art form with increasing success.

mackenzie nine - "Shards in a Bag" (Soundcloud)

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