(Texas. A small cozy bar lit by blue rope lights. $2 Lone Star on draft. I’m by myself. There are only a few cowboy hats, nothing but George Straight and John Coltrane in the jukebox.)
This is the image in my mind that I see when listening to The Mean’s sophomore album, Zero Zero. The trio’s enjoyable sound constructs a melodic folk playground where everyone is welcome. Extracting elements similar to Devendra Banhart, Dear and the Headlights, and Fleet Foxes, The Mean provides an intimate view into the vast and ever-expanding window of folk.
In this LP, The Mean demonstrate their wide-ranging and flexible sound, each song adding multiple layers to their take on the pop-folk genre. “Pickering Bridge” and “Gentle Woman” stand out as must listens. The last track of the album, “Ghost Witness,” in its perfect melodic simplicity, has the ability to transport you into The Mean’s world. It reminds you that spring will in fact return soon. It will beg for multiple listens.
The Mean formed in 2006 and released their first full length, Meet Us Here, in 2009. Members Aaron, Charlie, Martin, Stephen and Michael reside in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York (no connection to Texas).
Check out the full LP here.