Last year, I was sitting in a local Chipotle enjoying dinner when I heard something incredible. What tends to be the best restaurant as far as playlist, I often hear tunes I love there. This time, however, was a sort of justified moment for me. The band, Mr. Gnome, was rocking out through the speakers with their usual passion, expressiveness, and raw talent. I knew the act because they reside not too far from Ear to the Ground home base in Cleveland, Ohio. The art rock duo is an incredible testament for balancing nationwide indie credibility with hometown success. Gaining much deserved praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, and nearly every rock outlet, Mr. Gnome are back with a double LP that is sure to win the ears and hearts of listeners who have not yet heard their alluring sound.
The recording relies heavily on the personal experience of singer/guitarist Nicole Barille. “The album is primarily about the loss of my father, and the light that followed through the birth of my son,” she explains. “It’s a musical love letter reflecting on the patchwork of emotions people experience during life and especially, grief. It only continued to take on more meaning when I lost my cousin, and when Sam and I both lost his brother through the course of its production. It’s honestly a miracle the album is going to see the light of day.”
This sort of intention and care is usual for an incredibly heady but accessible act. “Psychonaut” has their trademark head-bopping style, mixed with psych rock and siren vocals. It is more than a proper introduction to your new favorite act. Check out their website for more album details.