It’s Christmas Day (Merry Christmas, by the way), but for today’s post, we’re putting that aside. With this being the last Musical Discovery of 2017, I wanted to review a track by an artist which would take me all the way back to the start of this year – a ‘full circle’ of sorts, if you will.
It was the middle of January. I was in Bristol on work experience, loving the placement and loving the new city I happened to find myself in. Early morning walks to BBC Bristol and late night journeys back to the house I was staying at were soundtracked by Mako’s debut album, Hourglass – particularly the track, Run for Your Life (feat. Rat City and Natalola).
So now that they’ve released a new single earlier this month, called Breathe, it makes sense for me to review it.
As those who have listened to Hourglass will know, Mako’s style can easily be split into synth-heavy tracks and the more stripped-back songs. If one were to compare Breathe with the American DJs’ back catalogue, then the similarities to Smoke Filled Room and Our Story are certainly apparent as the single adopts a calmer tone.
An all too familiar chord progression on the guitar opens up the track, before Alex Seaver’s equally soft vocals are introduced. With lyrics in the verses that fluctuate in pace, the listener’s attention is caught before things are truly slowed down for the chorus. Harmonised backing vocals float above a gentle rhythm in a break which restores a tempo to the track (drums are absent in the first verse) and help create a relaxing feel. In that regard, Breathe lives up to its name.
Putting the song’s structure to one side, if one was to consider the fact that this is a solo single from Alex, and that group member Logan Light announced his absence ‘from the majority of [Mako’s] 2017 shows’, then Light’s absence can be felt somewhat when listening to Breathe.
Whilst, as mentioned previously, it fits nicely amongst tracks such as Smoke Filled Room, it lacks that slight synth feel which Logan tends to bring to songs as ‘the DJ of the group’. Nevertheless, with Breathe possessing many of Mako’s musical characteristics, Alex’s solo single does a great job of carrying the group’s baton whilst Light takes a step back.
New music from Mako is certainly very promising, and here’s hoping more is on the way (hopefully with Logan’s involvement) come 2018…