by Chris Hatch
It’s right at the very heart of Always In Motion that songwriter Lexi Vega’s talents are laid bare
Bang in the middle of the track listing is the captivating guitar ballad, Youth – a track that sees Phoebe Bridgers’ lyricism and Soccer Mommy’s understated vocal stylings dovetail together beautifully before being carried away on a warm current of steadily building synths.
And the likely comparisons to Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, Bridgers, Dacus, and any of the myriad of soul-baring singer-songwriters that fill up playlists throughout the indie world are fair – Vega does sound a lot like her contemporaries, but on her debut album, she also shows how deftly she can pull away from that sound.
Venture away from that central point, and it’s clear that Vega is confident exploring a range of moods. Underwater drips with character, and the back of the mix is full of soft, padding percussion, rippling synths, and gurgling guitars. Cracks In The Pavement is velvety smooth neo-soul – twanging bass plucks, melting guitar lines, and soulful backing vocals are closer to Frank Ocean, Dijon, and Childhood than they are to Vega’s more obvious influences. Lead single, Spring, sways away beautifully – Casiotone percussion, shuffling acoustic guitars, and a simple, wobbling synth line bring the likes of Morcheeba and Air to mind.
Mini Trees’ debut album is the perfect mix of elegantly written pop songs, crystalline production, and just enough genre-shifting to keep things interesting without becoming forced. Fans of the aforementioned acts are likely to love this record, while others will still unearth some interesting, heartfelt pop gems in amongst Always In Motion.
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