EP Review | ‘The Crush’ by Marina City

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I remember the first time I heard this band I was letting my music shuffle through some new releases, not really finding anything I particularly liked. And then Addicted came on. For those of you who don’t know, this was one of my favourite songs of 2019 and it continues to be one of those songs that, when it randomly comes on, my first reaction is “YES!”

Needless to say, I’ve been impatiently waiting for new music for a minute or two and now it is finally time!

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Highlights

I dare anyone to listen to this EP and not dance once. The percussion and bass are too good. There are these funky beat throughout the album along with fun choruses that need to be sung. Even on the second listen through I was mouthing the words and trying not to be a freak on public transit. I mean, I have a soft spot for drummers and bassists because they’re the reason a song makes you move. I love dancing and this is a dance-y band.

Those vocal slides in Addicted though. That’s it. I have nothing else to add to that. They’re just so smooth. He does some amazing scoops later in the album too. Also the little breakdown with the muted percussion where is almost sounds like bongos is a vibe.

The soundscape of Life is something I wasn’t expecting. There was so many synth and electronic based sounds that come together beautifully with Ryan Alan’s falsetto vocals for the chorus. The descending guitar at the end of the chorus is pretty cool too. This is also one of the songs I recommend looking up the lyrics for because there are some lines in this song that have this marvelous cynicism to them.

Craving has some of my favourite vocals from Alan. There’s an amazing balance of grittiness and hardness during the verses that is constrictive to the smoother vocals in the chorus when some of the anger of the song slips.

Low Points

I will admit that there are a couple points where the mix fills a little muddy. That’s a risk when putting together so many sounds while also having layers of vocals. It can be a bit too overwhelming at times.

I know the point where this really stuck out for me was in the chorus of Craving. The vocals really get buried in the mix which is a shame because the vocals are really good once you listen past everything and get to them.

Also, unrelated to this album specifically, but I would love to hear them do something a little more outside of their comfort zone just to see what they would do with it. I feel like, after hearing this EP, that I have a pretty good idea about what their style is–and I love it, I’m not saying they should change it–and it would be interesting to see what they would do with songs in a different genre.

Favourite Track: Up All Night

Okay, so I thought a lot about whether to put Addicted here but the truth is, I’ve talked about it, I’ve expressed how much I like that song before. Now it’s time to give another song some attention.

The little call-and-response in the chorus of “baby” is so fun and I have to say it every time I listen to it. I’m physically incapable of not doing it.

There are so many moments in the track when the music cuts out: from right after the bridge to the vocable moment leading into the chorus. It add this wonderful dynamic to the song that’s almost like holding your breath before the beat comes back and you can dance again.

Rating: 4/5

The bottom line is this is a fun band to listen to. But in that wonderful way where there is clearly skill involved. I haven’t been interested in synth-pop style stuff for very long–mostly because I went a really long time not listening to pop music unless I was in a shop–but this is one of those bands that makes me happy I branched out.

I highly recommend watching some of their live performances too because their energy is amazing! They could sound exactly like the recording but if they didn’t match the energy of their songs it would feel so flat. Instead, they’re super engaging and I hope more people discover their music.

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