Vandaveer - The Wild Mercury

Vandaveer is returning after 3 years with their new album The Wild Mercury. Vandaveer is a Washington D.C. based indie-folk/americana project headed by Mark Charles Heidinger. Rose Guerin, a vocal harmonizing fixture since 2007, also returns on this album. This release will mark their 5th studio release and a bit of a return to form.

Not that they vary widely from form, though 2013’s Oh, Willie, Please… was a bit of a departure being a full album of murder ballads. Having been a fan of the band since I heard “Good Morning” off of 2010’s Minor Spell EP this is perhaps their strongest release to date. Track by track the album feels more polished. The backing instruments feel stronger. The vocal harmonies feel tighter. It’s like having apple pie with whipped cream, only this time the chef added a touch of vanilla to the whipped cream. Vandaveer has always been good at what they do, but this time it has a little more of that special something.

The album distills the best of the Americana sound. Each track is a story. Opening with “But Enough On That For Now” with the observation “Life is such a symbiotic thing, it is absolutely cruel and beautiful” and how we can’t get tangled up in the dichotomy of life, we just have to live. From there the album gets to the living. Songs of fathers and sons. Songs of regret. Songs of living each day standing tall, if not a little worse for the wear. Heidinger takes us on a journey that is at the same time open enough to identify with and personal enough to give each song a world weariness.

Though the album has foundations in indie-folk and americana sounds, it doesn’t stop there. There are notes of pop and rock sensibilities as well. One of the tracks, to my ears, has modern take on classic country as well. Stand outs from the album are “But Enough On That For Now,” “A Little Time Off Ahead,” “Holding Patterns,” and “A Pretty Thin Line.” Having said that, I don’t feel like there are any weak tracks on this album.

The Wild Mercury releases on February 19th. We are only three months into the year, but I feel like this will make my top 5 when December comes around. Here is the second single from the album, “A Little Time Off Ahead.” 

The Wild Mercury
White Space Records
February 19th, 2016

Overall Score
98 %

Vandaveer's strongest effort to date. Taking everything good before and somehow making it strong.

Lyrics 99%
Instrumentation 96%
Track mix/construction 96%

About The Author

System analyst by financial necessity. Writer by necessity of expression. DJ because music is in my Top 5 essentials for living. I grew up on a steady diet of comic books, science fiction/fantasy, and a wide variety of musical genres.

In addition to writing for Destroy the Cyborg I also produce a weekly podcast at Idiosyncratic Transmissions.

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