Song of the Day: Mikal Cronin - Made My Mind Up

Song of the Day
04/23/2015
Jacob Webb

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Made My Mind Up” by Mikal Cronin from the upcoming 2015 album MCIII on Merge Records.

Mikal Cronin - Made My Mind Up (MP3)

One of the key figures in the Californian garage rock revival of the last few years, Mikal Cronin's emotionally direct and heavily melodic guitar-heavy sound is anthemic from the first chord. A graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, Cronin became known as a frequent bandmate and collaborator with Bay Area powerhouse Ty Segall. Concurrent with his work with Segall, Cronin recorded his debut solo album, 2011's Mikal Cronin, on his own before touring it heavily. The album's followup, 2013's MCII, found a release on Merge and a subsequent tour gave Cronin his biggest profile to date. Like his first two releases, Cronin recorded almost all of the parts on his third album, the aptly-titled MCIII, but expanded his musical horizons by incorporating more string and horn arrangements into his guitar-heavy sound. It's leadoff single, however, is classic Cronin through and through. "Made My Mind Up" has a slight melancholic undertone that resolves into a huge chorus – Cronin's go-to structure – but the instrumentation he uses on the song is more diverse and rich than ever. Piano, acoustic guitar, backing harmony vocals and a guitar solo that exchanges sting for fluidity show how quickly Cronin is progressing as a songwriter. It's undeniable Cronin has significantly expanded his sound on MCIII, but "Made My Mind Up" shows that he's made that jump without losing any of the visceral garage rock energy that made his songs so undeniable to begin with.

Mikal Cronin will be LIVE on KEXP on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Afterward; he'll play the Tractor Tavern that night with Black Whales and Dude York. Get tickets for that 21+ show here, keep up with Mikal at his Facebook and website, and below, watch Mikal play "Shout It Out" during his last visit to KEXP in 2013.

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