In 2015, Misterwives
released their debut album Our Own House.
I'll never forget when I heard the album's title track played in a random video on social media. That song was everywhere, and for good reason - Mandy Lee's powerful vocal and the larger-than-life hook. Suddenly the band went from playing their first gig at the Canal Room in New York to opening for Panic! At The Disco
at Madison Square Garden. Their humble beginnings in Astoria, Queens are inspiring and it's been a steady rise... We were anxious to know what the follow up was going to sound like. "There was definitely pressure," Lee told me when I asked about the cliche tensions of making a sophomore record. "As a band, your sophomore record is a make or break moment for you... Also, the first album had songs on it that I wrote when I was 15 and before I met these guys. You have your whole life to write your first album and then a year to write your second. That definitely plagued me a little." Luckily, it looks like their second LP Connect The Dots
is going to keep the dream alive.
Although Connect The Dots
has a lot of happy moments (how can a band fronted by Lee not have happy moments?), there's a little more edge to it in comparison to their debut. "We had a 10 song album and then the election happened and then we had an 11 song album," the band said of "Oh Love," the song that was written right after the election. "Scarier than any bad dream, can't wake up from his regime,"
Lee growls. The lead single "Machine" conveniently fits in with this theme as well with lyrics like "Oh I am tired of abiding by your rules / Causing me to second guess my every single move"
and "As everything fed to our brain's rammed down our throats with no complaints / Maybe I'm a dying breed, but I believe in individuality."
Like mentioned earlier, there are a lot of really heartwarming moments on the record where the friendship between the members is almost tangible. Take "Band Camp" for instance - it starts out with a sample of a campfire as a dreamy guitar and drums enter. Lee tells the story of the very literal band camp the band hid away in when it was time to write the record. They retreated into the isolated woods with a pool, wine cellar, and studio amongst other things in order to prevent writing from feeling like a chore. "It just poured out of me and I didn't hit writer's block much. It came together super organically." Lee channels her inner Florence Welch melodically, "We don't want it any other way, we love being so far away, and we go to the woods where we can play, and we keep all the monsters at bay."
The last song on the record, "Let The Light In," is another beautiful moment and a personal band favorite, "it takes you on a journey. It's one of the most special songs between all of us."
"When we were creating the album, we realized it was going in a lot of different directions. It was feeling like what the visual representation of 'connect the dots' pictures are. It's this representation of life and how it can sometimes feel like a scattered chaotic mess of dots and numbers. Each piece is crucial to creating the picture," the band explained the album title Connect The Dots.
The album touches on everything genre-wise and lyric-wise; it sings of love, anger, and hope and intertwines all of these themes in a swirl of stunning harmonies and fast-paced percussion. It doesn't seem to stray too far from their debut - it just sounds like a bigger and better version injected with even more chemistry between all of the players. MisterWives proved that they can stay consistent, and it might have something to do with the members not only growing together as musicians, but growing together as best friends.