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Mikal Cronin’s self-titled debut from 2011 was all about endings: the end of college, the end of a serious relationship, and the end of his time in Los Angeles, where he grew up. So it’s no surprise that his sophomore release MCII—and first disc for Merge Records—is all about new beginnings. read more…
Mikal Cronin’s self-titled debut from 2011 was all about endings: the end of college, the end of a serious relationship, and the end of his time in Los Angeles, where he grew up. So it’s no surprise that his sophomore release MCII—and first disc for Merge Records—is all about new beginnings.
“Since the first record came out, my life has changed quite a bit,” Cronin says, referencing his move to San Francisco and tours with Ty Segall as well as with his own band. “I was presented with a whole new slew of problems and situations that I was trying to work through.” “Am I Wrong” and “Shout It Out” dissect his fears over a new relationship, while “I’m Done Running from You” and “Weight” find him freaking out about what it means to grow up in the 21st century.
Recorded in late 2012 by Eric Bauer at Bauer Mansion in San Francisco (except for “Don’t Let Me Go” which was recorded by Cronin at home), MCII includes guest appearances by K. Dylan Edrich (viola and violin on “Peace of Mind” and “Change”), Charles Moothart (drums on “Change” and “Turn Away”), Ty Segall (guitar solos on “Am I Wrong” and “I’m Done Running from You”), and Petey Dammit (slide guitar on “Peace of Mind”).
Other than these few exceptions, Cronin played all of the instruments. “It all makes total sense to me, but when I step back, it sounds kind of schizophrenic,” Cronin says. “Hopefully it all sounds enough like me to make sense.”
“Cronin stretches his legs to record a clean, ridiculously catchy song with tons of layers. It’s the full scale of things that makes ‘Apathy’ so great — the harmonies, the song structuring, the piles of instruments, but mostly, the anxious feeling that’s strung throughout the song. It’s a song with a lot to grab onto, and it’s a killer introduction to Cronin as a solo artist.” — Pitchfork
“The record packs a huge whollop in its three-minute garage-pop punches. Scraping its way through fuzz, jangle, slow burn motions and even a few psychedelic breakdowns, the record is nothing if not infectious; opening itself up wider with each play. In the truest sense of the word this is just a good record, one that’s quickly jumping up our best of 2011 list and one that’s not likely to leave the turntable soon.” — Raven Sings the Blues
“Cronin is one of those artists that barely appear to be trying, yet every element is executed so naturally that you can tell this is really the result of a lifetime studying what rock ‘n’ roll is all about.” — RCRD LBL
“Part Everly Brother, part feedback overlord.” — Uncut