The Mynabirds: Lovers Know

Lovers Know is the third studio album by Saddle Creek synthpop act The Mynabirds. Led by singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn, The Mynabirds deliver twelve very personal, emotionally charged songs on their latest release. None of the offerings here would sound at all quirky or out of place on mainstream radio. Even the few tracks that utilize a skittering, Casio-like analog drum beat manage to transcend any subgenre with the word “indie” in it due to Burhenn’s domineering, skillful, and always gorgeous vocals, as well as her classically trained compositional hand.

Lovers Know isn’t a light listen. Laura Burhenn sings about uncertainty, introspection, and perhaps most consistently the ups and downs that come with romantic relationships. The strongest songs appear in the first half of the album. “When I love, I love with all my heart” Burhenn sings with swagger and confidence on the record’s opener “All My Heart”. Not to be outdone, with its low-tech percussion and reverse synth washes, the instrumental structure for the song “Believer” is a perfect fit for Burhenn’s exquisite vocal delivery and contemplative lyrics that deal with feelings of communication failure and emotional ambiguity. Most memorable and catchy of this strong batch of early songs, however, has to be “Semantics”. “You know I always feel half crazy, but I’m still here” Burhenn sings on the soaring chorus to what is without a doubt the album’s finest moment.

Combining an appropriately powerful voice and moving instrumentation with such heavy lyrical subject matter seems like a winning recipe for an overall strong release. However, while none of the songs on Lovers Know sound out of place, the record definitely feels frontloaded. There are some weaker and/or awkward moments that occur deeper into the album. One of which is the song “Omaha” that at over five and a half minutes wears out its welcome, testing listeners’ patience. “Wildfire” sounds like a victory lap that would have been more appropriate as the record’s finale. The charming “Velveteen” has a lovely chorus, but it teases the listener into believing its building to an epic conclusion and instead ends anemically. These problematic moments aside, Lovers Know is a decent collection that provides more than a few above average songs and would serve as an acceptable introduction to The Mynabirds’ sound.

Rating: 6.3/10

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