Mikal Cronin: MCIII (2015)

Mikal Cronin is an indie rocker out of California, playing on all manner of projects. His second solo LP (MCII, natch) was a wonderful bit of mid-fi indie pop, shades of Teenage Fanclub; his third album is similar, but ups the production a bit, adding in some more orchestration while retaining the hook-heavy songcraft.

Opener "Turn Around" is a terrific bit of baroque pop, calling to mind the New Pornographers and the Shins, dynamic and full of killer earworms that will haunt you all day long. Plus a string section. A few other songs are no less striking -- "Made My Mind Up" similarly works the loud-soft-loud dynamic, with more great hooks; "Say" is rousing power pop, akin to Jason Falkner; "Gold" is even more frenetic (as is the gale-force "Ready"). There are also a few quiet ballads to offset the noisier stuff, maybe not as infectious but perfectly enjoyable.

Both MCII and MCIII are worth a listen for fans of off-kilter indie rock with engaging power pop hooks

Buy it on Bandcamp.

Here's the video for "Say," brilliantly sending up the old Paul Simon/Chevy Chase video:
Here's a live "Turn Around":
 ...and "Made My Mind Up" live in the studio: