Jun 30, 2021
By Hayden Godfrey
Michael Cormier’s More Light!! was recorded entirely at his home in West Philadelphia during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Entirely congruent with its colorful, sundry cover art, Cormier’s latest studio effort is the type of album that sounds best while wearing sweatpants and oversized headphones.
Cormier’s arrangements are dense in a good way; seldom is the record’s instrumentation monotonous or mailed in, and his melodies are hard to latch onto due to their complexity and dexterity. On “Last Hurrah,” Cormier walks alongside ringy guitars and an airy flute, a tonality that bleeds wonderfully into the next track, “Call Declined,” which is a slightly earthy, almost croony folk frolic that is delightfully supported by unobtrusive harmony vocals and a stringy, loose violin. Elsewhere, “Empty Mugs” is a beautifully cozy song that leverages slick transitions between blanketed verses and open, free-spoken choruses. It’s this type of intimate, warmly produced arrangement that really cradles Cormier’s shy, reserved voice; it’s the perfect way to end the record.
Still, the album’s folky and lush ambitions can sometimes fall flat, resulting in compositions that are too dramatic and not organic enough. Case in point, the title track is instrumentally lacklustre and only becomes slightly more entrancing when it sheds its lo-fi exterior to reveal a more relatable timbre. The same can be said for “Yellow Sadness,” which becomes somewhat messy and incoherent near its conclusion. These aren’t fatal periods of dullness, but do detract from some of the momentum built early on.
Like the narrative tones contained within, More Light!! is an approachable, familiar album with decent polish. It doesn’t revolutionize the genre by any stretch, but it’s comforting, easy to digest, and acoustically satisfying. (www.michaelcormer.bandcamp.com)
Author rating: 7/10
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