reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
Multitasking is an art — and Jonny Dylan Hughes is many kinds of artist. Hughes creates music using a multitude of monikers in a multitude of different styles, including the house project Slow Start and the instrumental project Branches. With his latest album New Mind, Hughes is releasing in his own name an album of tight compositions that showcase a rapid-fire brain at work.
There are tracks on New Mind that have a sense of urgency to them — a busy vibe befitting the artist himself. The chip-tune melody of the synths on “New Mind” and “Daughters” find their power in melody with different approaches to the vocal sound. Where “New Mind” has an addictively juxtaposed indie casualness to the vocals, “Daughters” has them blending with the synths with a distant effect. But Hughes is careful to keep a sense of balance to the collection. “Welcome Back” carries more depth, encompasses more emotion, while the album closer “Hide” is a slow-rising piano-driven number with a one verse sentiment: “Why would I hide / hide my face from you. / Knowing you has been / such a pleasure.”
Propulsion and patience go hand-in-hand on New Mind — which is exactly the kind of new mind many of us might hope for. Pairing electro-pop drive with thoughtful indie lyrics has created a five-song EP that pulls together for an emotionally encompassing ride. This record is comfort through melody, reliability through growth. With a new mind and a diversity of sound, Hughes is an artist to be watched.
Top Tracks: “New Mind” ; “Welcome Back”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) + *Swoop*