What is at the core of a fractured mind? This seems to be the question Montreal’s Uaxyacac is asking on their second album, Homemade Myth. (And for those new to the band or the unpronounceable-looking word, it’s pronounced o-ha-ka). Their previous release, Double Seeker, seemed to be a breakup album, but on this latest release, old is mixed with new, and experiments are mixed newer, palette-expanding songs. It’s messy, no doubt, but appealingly so.
Even the band’s own description of the album calls it “a convoluted series of recordings and audio pieces,” and perhaps it’s indicative of the state of our minds on a daily basis, especially when we live in bustling cities like Montreal and Toronto. While vocals in the type of dark synth-pop Uaxyacac play are usually hard to distinguish, looking at the lyrics reveals more of the type of atmosphere this band is trying to lay down.
In a word, it’s a sense of gloom and confusion. Opener “Stars and Stars,” amid its guitar and synth combo, takes natural imagery and then destroys it, like the oft-repeated line in the song: “Green grass turning brown beneath my feet.” The long intro of “The Night Sky is a Mirror” gives way to lyrics about being figuratively trapped inside your own head, unable to distinguish illusion from reality.
“Nocturne,” lyrically, is almost a beautiful song with its underwater imagery, but that beauty has a price: “We all know your fears/Cuz we all know you’re here.” It’s a creeping sense of dread in a very busy song that has the most rocking opening of any song on the album.
The album doesn’t shy away from songs about love, but don’t even think of calling them love songs. “Dreamin'” is a title that would suggest something breezy and laid-back, but the beats are hard and aggressive over lyrics about being totally alone. “St. Mawr” is about that one person in your life who can help you deal with your person demons, but at the same time you recognize the “primal beast” lurking within them. “Give Yourself” repeats the phrase “Give yourself to the one you love” so many times it’s a mantra, and makes love seem like something you’d be better off without.
The album exists in an endless hall of mirrors—the deeper you get in, the more lost you become, until you finally emerge from the end of the tunnel, unsure of what was real.
Top Tracks: “St. Mawr”; “The Love You Feel is Something Else”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)