by Tiana Feng
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Label: File Under: Music
Vancouver’s The Crackling consists of members of Dan Mangan’s touring band. With Mangan’s music wavering with emotions, The Crackling is expected to tug on some heart strings and they do in their sophomore release Mary Magdalene.
Kenton Lowen’s lonesome wales are joined by The Vancouver Children’s Choir on “Keep Me Drunk”, like a glimmer of hope at the end of a dark tunnel. Mangan actually sings on “You’re Sure That I’m Wrong” and “Ashen” but the spotlight remains on Loewen.
Throughout, you get the occasional beautiful vibrato notes of JP Carter on trumpet, a thoughtful string session, improvisational keys and more which all come in attentively to fit the appropriate mood of the songs. You can hear this in the ominous tone of “Suicide Is Painless” or the more foot stomping “Ashen”.
The majority of the album centres around a man’s rumination over life. It’s not all depressing though as the album ends with the uplifting “I Love You Tonight”.