I like playful lyrics, me. And I like the full-frontal, no nonsense pop songs, and husky vocals all spliced together in a fitting, almost determined way. Thankfully, Mi Mye’s fourth album Sometimes Life’s Cool seems to be set on the same page as myself, and many others for that matter.
Cropping up a range of musical qualities, Mi Mye has materialised a rather diverse pop sound. Quiet vocals dashed with witty lyrics and tappy skiffle beats, Jamie Lockhart’s personal vision of how pop songs should be is quite magical. The title song ‘Sometimes Life’s Cool’ captures a nostalgic and romantic aura, and charmingly knots together with chilled piano chords, steady tempos and tight crescendos, that blur the existing and recognised formulas for pop songs together; producing a dazzling result of soft-pop, folkish-indie rock and chemical-like fluidity.
Now performing with Rob Slater and Daniel Charlesworth of The Spills, whom Lockhart has produced for, Mi Mye has been offered a whole new dimension of sound to play with. Sparring further pop uppercuts, tracks like ‘Six Weeks And A Day’ and ‘Weather System’ offer more twangy, plucked folk fiddles, and embody Mi Mye’s somberness. Whilst remaining subdued, Mi Mye’s tone steadies and keeps the balance from tipping over to a self-pitying, aggravated feel. Instead, Jamie Lockhart’s song-smithery is delicately admirable and, in places, touching. Like a weepier, less deprived and arduous Noah and the Whale.
Continuing his folky, rustic lover affair, Jamie Lockhart webs layers of hoarse violins and string textures behind his muted guitar in songs like ‘And I Know And Know’. The basic reverb compression and overall modest production takes nothing away from Jamie’s talent, and gives him license to romance and charm his listeners. Despite his practice of sad songwriting, Mi Mye’s fourth album combines lyrical wit and playfulness. Lines like ‘and heartlessness and homelessness really suits you’ notes an angry, yet cheeky side to Lockhart’s quirky take on writing pop songs.
With his heart worn visibly on his sleeve, Jamie Lockhart and Mi Mye have created a gem of a pop album. It’s wit and flavour, although at times bitter to the taste, flexes a muscle of pure musical talent.