Album Review: Mascott – Art Project

By on Monday, 13th April 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Mascott (Art Project cover)Following on from her stints with Juicy, Helium and Sparklehorse in the early to mid 90s, songstress Kendall Jane Meade later went on to form her own indie-folk-pop band Mascott in 1998. The New York-based artist, who I’d describe as an American Lisa Hanningan, has since released two albums, ‘Follow the Sound’ and ‘Dreamer’s Book’. ‘Art Project’, however, signals Mascott’s debut U.K release, something which Kendall appears to be super excited about – “As the days lead up to the UK release (europe & ireland too) of Art Project on May 4th, I try and stay cool and laid back but OH MY GOD a MASCOTT album is coming out in the UK!!”. Despite it’s tiny length (it’s approximately 25 minutes long), the album – which was recorded at The Fort Brooklyn in New York – has in fact been several good years in the making. So was it worth all the effort?

Well…’Art Project’ is certainly a bright little record. Meade’s quaint vocals beautifully coat the tinkling pianos and wispy acoustic guitar strings throughout. Album opener ‘Live Again’ is filled with gloriously cheerful ‘la la la’s’ while the speedy ‘4th of July’ happily bounds with a sprightly drumbeat.

Although Mascott’s record is undoubtedly sugary sweet, Kendall’s softly sounds can sometimes verge on bland, with slower tracks such as ‘Red Flowers’ and ‘Like Letting Go of the Sun’ remaining quite unmemorable.

That said, sunshiney and upbeat numbers, such as ‘Dream Another Day’ (think Kate Nash gone folk) and Carter Family cover ‘Wildwood Flower’, remind us of Mascott’s ultimate ability to plant a big smile over the listeners’ face.

The album comes to an end with ‘Oh Peggy!’, a poppy little track complete with lovely harmonies, cheerful strings, and upbeat drums. This track is exclusive to the U.K release of ‘Art Project’, which is surprising as it’s actually an album highlight, bringing this short and sweet album to a fittingly cutesy close.

‘Art Project’ is released April 20th. You can pre-order Mascott’s CD over at Amazon right now for just £6.98.

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