Lorded for his vast vocal range and theatrical performance style; one of Edinburgh’s most highly regarded singers is back with a new EP.
‘Mirror Man’, the five track from Angus Munro fixates on self-reflection, as the title suggests. Enlisting the help of revered producer Tony Doogan, who has worked with the likes of Belle & Sebastian and Mogwai, Munro has achieved a highly polished sound on his second EP.
Bleed It Out pays homage to hardcore punk, a genre Munro says he finds infectious, especially in a live setting. There’s something odd about a slick pop song celebrating sweaty mosh pits but the contrast is well tempered by the subtle organ and the backing vocals which lift each chorus with ease.
Although it has been part of Munro’s repertoire for a while, Equaliza is more than worthy of being listed on this EP. A heartfelt piano ballad steeped in the tradition of the genre, the song tackles the topic of mental health.
“There is a drug called Citalopram, it tastes like chalk but it makes me half the man, half the man I was with Equaliza.”
The poignancy and pragmatism which Munro wraps around such raw subject matter is testament to the quality of songwriting on this record. This is unadulterated and eloquent pop at its best.
The title track is perhaps even more forlorn than the previous number. Mirror Man was written on the day Angus Munro learnt of the death of his Father. The words penned at that time were left in a drawer, perhaps never to be touched again. Some time later, Munro decided it would only be right to convert these most personal of emotions into a piece of music, be it for reasons of catharsis or otherwise.
The song pulls the listener into the unhappy fortuity of being physically alike to one’s parents at a time of loss, hence ‘Mirror Man’. The richness in Munro’s vocals in the chorus is a plaintive reminder of how much these words mean to him. Amongst everything else, it says something for the genre that such delicacies can be tucked into a neat pop song that is catchy whilst having an overarching solemnity.
Breaking away from the theme, the final throws of the EP look outward and are instead case studies of people in the songwriter’s life, as opposed to the previous inward reflections. The soft intricacies of the guitar on Susan provide a tranquility for Munro’s witticisms to sit atop. Rather than meaningless platitudes however, these are well written stories that have been beautifully moulded to fit into an uncluttered and precise soundscape.
‘Mirror Man’ is a hugely cathartic record. So much so that it’s of almost as much benefit to the listener as one imagines it is to the songwriter. The brevity applied to such weighty emotion is quite remarkable. This is all without mentioning the slick vocals, regular vigour of Angus Munro’s piano skills and the perfectly married backing band that all combine to make this EP a success.
To keep up to date with Angus & his gigs head to www.facebook.com/angusmunromusic/
Words: Jamie McDonald