Mikal Cronin – Made My Mind Up

When I was in my first year of uni there was a girl I knew who I had a major crush on who went by the name Cronin. I never told her, but I guess I pretty much outed my big seven year secret just now. Whoops.

Why am I blabbering on about a romance that never was you ask? The new track from her possibly estranged cousin Mikal Cronin recently dropped, and Made My Mind Up is a track that explores the past through the lens of the present, presenting the good and bad within nostalgia.

Mikal Cronin

Mikal Cronin continues to find himself in spectacular fashion on the brilliantly lush Made My Mind Up.

Our dear friend Mikal has been active since 2010 and has previously released two EP’s, the creatively named Mikal Cronin in 2011 and MCII in 2013. This year sees Mikal on the cusp of releasing his third record, the equally inspired named MCIII. Okay, all sass aside naming all three of his records after himself makes sense looking back at his musical history.

His first LP saw a fresh faced Mikal create a noisy, guitar-pop record in response to coming into contact with what he calls the “real world”. Given the state of most people’s HECS (or is it HELP?) debt I don’t blame him for wanting to have a bash on the old six string to relieve some tension. Mikal’s work may sound like fun, boppy guitar-pop but in truth there lies underneath a surprising amount of self doubt, tension and anxiety. Which warrants the whole naming records after himself thing, as each LP marks who he is at that time and the issues he chooses to work through.

Which can be said of any muso really, but hey, if it works it works. He played all the instruments on that record, and has done the same for the impending MKIII, an album that has been described as a two parter; one part unabashed pop songs, the other a miniature concept album that documents a coming of age story. I’m not sure which of these Made My Mind Up sits on, but an argument can be made for either. There are a lot reasons why I like this song. For one I’m a big fan of alliteration. Secondly, beyond the repeated “m’s” there are those lush, melodious arrangements. Mikal’s voice casually floats over the track as the guitar playfully soars, aptly propped up by the boppy piano.

But what I enjoy most about this track is it’s nostalgic quality, emanating not only from the arrangement but from the lyrics as well. The lyrics evokes imagery of solitude and once being trapped by one’s own fears and doubts. There’s a lcear need to avoid mistakes from the past, yet there is a desire to look back one more time through those rose tinted glasses to find something that was worthwhile. Sometimes nostalgia can be a bitch and reveals the true nature of people and things locked in the vault that is the past, and Mikal communicates in a way that is subtle without smacking us over the head with it.

Mikal Cronin will release MCIII on May 3 via Merge Records.



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