Slow and steady wins the race, and Mansions proved that with their latest release, Big Bad (Bad Timing Records). Stepping away from high-intensity and speaker-busting volume, Mansions takes us on an odyssey told through whispers and faint remarks. Taking their time, they walk us through their most personal thoughts and internal struggles, entrusting the listeners with their hearts.
“Big Bad” starts with the track, “Do it Again,” backed by synths. It sets the tone for a darkwave-inspired dream walk. With a low hum coming from broken speakers, it almost sounds like the ringing in your ears and inner monologue taking the driver’s seat. Filling the cavity in your chest, it swells and blooms into a reverb-drenched solemn expression of emotional growth.
Further down on the album, “PPV” creeps in, a love song at its root. Featuring a hazy melody, it remains assured, as the tones from the guitar nearly swallow the vocals. It’s almost a controlled confusion; with lyrics like “Sometimes I think I’m in a car with you. Forget where I’m going. Float up through the roof,” the song feels like the middle ground between lucidity and deep sleep.
The finale ties the record with the track, “Strugglers,” an admission of love lost and losing friends, but attempting to find strength in the heartache. Its arrangement is focused and nebulous as the lyrics maintain the jewel of the track. A lovely goodbye, the song remains delicate and transparent about the grief of loss.
This record creates the backdrop for self-reflection. Beautifully constructed and cohesive, this record is a testament to Mansions’ talent and their ability to transform themselves into a minimalist darkwave band at a whim—an exceptional piece of work and an excellent addition to their discography. Mansions have outdone themselves on this record, and as we continue to march on in turbulent times, their record provides solace in the face of uncertainty and doubt.
“Big Bad” is available to purchase here.