In November 2013, Oklahoma’s Blaze McKenzie went sober. In the productive months following this move, McKenzie penned over thirty tracks – all navigating deeply personal, and often confronting issues.
Fast forward a couple of years, and we’ve got Born A Shadow… possibly the ten best tracks from that initial collection.
Blaze McKenzie’s new album Born A Shadow manoeuvres through some pretty intimate issues, though ultimately lands on a theme of catharsis and redemption.
On Born A Shadow, Blaze McKenzie flaunts his penchant for writing chilling indie-rock anthems.
The album wrestles with existential dread, depression, anxiety, and narcissism, among other themes. Though the general feeling of the album is one of redemption.
Album opener Born A Shadow is haunting, moody, and emotive, while Never Faking is an epic slow-burner that simmers and builds into something thumping and cathartic.
The entire album possesses a charming DIY, bedroom feel, while maintaining a carefully crafted production value.
“I would like to think there’s some redemptive quality in there as well. I know I sure felt better after writing them,” McKenzie says of the songs.
Album closer Old Sad Me begins as delicate, fuzzy, and ultimately heartbreaking. The track floats along until it grounds itself in a crunching beat, where it thrives in the confidence of its vocal delivery.
Born A Shadow is an impressive first solo offering, in which McKenzie confronts his issues with more honesty than most musicians would in a lifetime. It makes for a truly endearing listen.
Do yourself a favour and listen to the new album above.