Sunday, April 1, 2012

MAKAR's "Funeral Genius" Lives Up To Its Name

Guest Post by Matthew Warburton cross posted at Screaming at the Wall

This is the second piece I'm writing for Popa's Tunes, which has been a pleasure, as well as an excellent opportunity to expose myself to some new music. He has a natural ear for the sounds worth paying attention to, so I never turn down the chance to work with him. 

In November 2011, NYC Indie Pop band MAKAR came out with their second major release "Funeral Genius," and the unique qualities of this album make it an extremely significant addition to my collection. Andrea DeAngelis and Mark Purnell are the core of MAKAR, both demonstrate their extraordinary affinity for singing and songwriting throughout the album, with Andrea on guitar and Mark on piano. "Funeral Genius" also features bassist Mark Nilges and drummer Dawn McGrath, and the end result is something that deserves attention.

I've only had my hands on the album for about a week or so, but I have been listening to it on repeat nonstop. One of the greatest strengths of this twelve-track artistic accomplishment is the technically flawless layering of multiple styles; the instrumentals alone provide a good look at the finely-honed talent of every member. Purnell and DeAngelis alternating on vocals further enhance the multi-faceted nature of their work, and no amount of genre labels or comparisons would really do MAKAR justice. Each song carries its own particular sound, but it all comes together as a complete and well-rounded album. I keep finding myself a little more appreciative of each track every time I listen to it.

I was already enjoying myself immensely just listening to "Funeral Genius," but after getting my hands on the lyrics I was blown away. The words to every song read like poetry, and despite the outstanding musical performance, I would consider this one of the most impressive aspects. The tone throughout each song comes across as folk with a dark taste to it, but the music is by no stretch of the imagination depressing. Mark and Andrea walk a very fine line with the words, but they do it with a level of style that makes the overall emotional impact something that makes you think and feel in a different kind of way. These lyrics have some real substance to them, and it raises my already massive appreciation for MAKAR's music.

Personal Favorite Tracks:

5. I Can't Tell You To Stay: One of the best bass lines on the entire album starts off this track, both Mark and Andrea sing, fantastic song. This is the one that really caught my attention.
11. Three Times A Midnight: A slow paced, well put-together song that has an immaculate chorus. Every member really shines in this song, and the lyrics are superb.
12. Devil In A Dream: Perfect bluesy folk song, low tech recording with an acoustic guitar in a basement somewhere in Mendham, NJ. What more do you need?

"Funeral Genius" is an album worth its value several times over, and any releases coming from these standout NYC artists in the near future will become an instant addition to my collection. Even if you aren't an indie pop fan, there's a good chance the hauntingly majestic sounds of MAKAR will change your opinion on the genre. In the meantime, I will be eagerly anticipating anything they come up with.

Makar | Funeral Genius | CD Baby
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