Release Date: Oct 12, 2010
Record label: Editions Mego
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Alongside his pals in Emeralds, guitarist Mark McGuire makes unhinged music-- a swirling drone that oscillates wildly back and forth and seems to spin off in every direction at once. The focus of his latest solo effort is narrower. Without the synths and electronic elements that intensify Emeralds' swelling noise, Living With Yourself is primarily a guitar record, looser and more accessible than we're used to from McGuire.
Mark McGuire’s solo work crossed over from limited run cassettes and indie labels onto the venerable Editions Mego imprint around the same time last year as his spacedelic kosmische project, Emeralds. Both releases are stirring, intricate instrumental albums of great merit, but whereas Emeralds’s Does It Look Like I’m Here? was a seismically dense powerhouse most at home lingering gaseously in the cosmos, Living With Yourself is a personal, intimate, even slightly sentimental record, the cover featuring a plain collage of starkly prosaic and candid Americana shots. The song titles too seem private—“Around the Old Neighborhood”, “Brain Storm (for Erin)”, and “Two Different People”, followed immediately by “Moving Apart”.
To suggest that Living With Yourself is Mark McGuire‘s debut is a bit of a misnomer. The young, Cleveland-based experimental composer has released an untold amount of material on cassette and CD-R in recent years, much like Emeralds, the only slightly more well-known trio that McGuire continues to play an active role in. But, here it is, McGuire’s “full-length straight-to-vinyl/cd real real album album”, as he endearingly described it on his blog, and it’s superb.
You hear the innocent little boy speaking over the pristine chord, both seemingly free of distortions. As time passes, the chords start to take definite direction and subthemes develop beneath the surface. After awhile effects are applied, differentiating a personal style. These effects produce ripples which send out energy, suggesting connection with and impact on the outside world, and continue to grow in confidence until waves are made.