[Album Review] Molly Drag- Whatever Reason
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)

Release Date: April 20, 2017
Label: Broken World Media

Last year’s ‘Tethered Rendering’ was a big favourite around here. So, was it a fluke? Molly Drag (aka Michael Charles Hansford) responds with ‘Whatever Reason’, and the answer is a resounding “Heck, no!”  If anything, the songs here are more precious and endearing than ever.

Central to Hansford charm is his engaging voice. Usually his singing voice is hushed, drawing you in and making the experience quite intimate. And so it should be as Hansford bares his soul on such songs as “Pitch Black Apathy”, where he admits, “that all the things I hate about myself are true/I always push away the ones I love/I don’t deserve forgiveness”. Of course, Hansford doesn’t need to be forgiven, he’s just being human like all the rest of us. He speaks to all of us — one on one — about those things that we tend to think about but can’t quite articulate. Not the way Hansford does.

His voice has a vulnerability to it, and sometimes even sounds childlike, making us trust him with even the most delicate of subjects. But this intimacy is not his only weapon. Aside from gorgeous dreampop, Molly Drag’s music leans towards the experimental (if not quite avant-garde). Conversations drift in the background throughout “Glass”, backward-playing music pops up in several spots, and there’s a general wonkiness to a lot of the music that fades in and out. In “Nostalgia” the entire song sounds unconventional, with its oddly reverberating guitars and the atonality of the near-spoken words. It’s this penchant for the strange that knocks ‘Whatever Reason’ out of the park.

Of course, Hansford doesn’t own the whole genre of slowcore dreamgaze, but listening to ‘Whatever Reason’ you’d be convinced he does. As you listen him, in that precise moment, no one does it better.