Song of the Day

The Mourning, “Mood Swings,” from Time Well Wasted (2021)

However shadowy and faceless, the known musical quantities that compose Memphis’ The Mourning identify strictly via their lush and majestic soundscape. With the Bluff City band’s debut EP, Time Well Wasted, freshly dropped, a peek behind the curtain will hopefully result in a chance to experience these tracks in a live setting. 

There’s nary a nonessential moment across the brief but sprawling collection, but today’s focus is Song of the Day, “Mood Swings.”

Riding in on a wave of ambient sounds and a sample cribbed from Al Pacino’s Scent of a Woman courtroom monologue, the ambiguity of tone is perhaps the best introduction to the band. As moody as they are controlled, it’s typically a Herculean task for me to sit through seven and a half minutes, unless it’s the entire A-side of a 7-inch.

Somehow, The Mourning’s grip is immediate and never relents, courting drama in the form of dazzling post rock, shoegaze’s ethereal and delicate touch, and alternative rock:

Draped in a haze of melancholy, the song arrives and recedes multiple times, resulting in crescendos that are heavy enough to flirt with the likes of Junius, albeit with a DIY backbone. There are bits that recall the likes of The Appleseed Cast as well as the more dismal end of modern shoegaze revivalists.

At times instantly rewarding, the dynamism requires multiple listens to pick apart the amazing recording courtesy of Calvin Lauber (Julien Baker’s band) and the ever reliable mastering work of Audiosiege’s Brad Boatright. There are even passages sure to exhilarate fans of the 2010’s emo revival, falling as it does into the aching territory of The World is a Beautiful Place and their ilk. Yet, it all remains wistful and unresolved as the song builds to a stunning conclusion. 

Regardless of whether or not we’ll be gifted the identities of whom to thank for such a mid-year stunner, The Mourning are one to watch. Press those funeral blacks, y’all. The mourning needs you. 

Tagged: the mourning