Mikal Cronin‘s name has been floating around the underground for a few years now as a pop-rock genius, thanks to a handful of singles, his work with garage wunderkind Ty Segall and a fine, fine debut album on one of the planet’s best record labels, Trouble In Mind.
Now, Cronin is ready for his breakthrough. Next week, his second album “MCII” comes out on another one of the planet’s best labels — but one with considerably more promotional muscle — Merge Records.
And it is a stunner.
I remember reading a review of a Guided By Voices album many years ago that said something about how Bob Pollard seems to spit out amazing, beautiful melodies like the rest of us breathe. And after listening to “MCII” a dozen or so times now, I keep coming back to the same feeling about Cronin. If you love absolutely perfect pop-rock powered by the urgent strum of an acoustic guitar and packed with soaring melodies that’ll stick in your brain for a loooong time, you must give this guy a spin. (Seriously, ask my wife what I’ve been singing around the house nonstop for the past couple of weeks. “DO I SHOUT IT OUT? DO I LET IT GO?”)
Anyway, the entire album is now streaming via NPR, but I want to highlight not only the first two singles and the best two tracks, but two of the best songs released by anyone anywhere this year. These tunes are pretty much perfect. Click play, please: