Mamalarky’s sophomore album, Pocket Fantasy, is a happy-go-lucky exploration of friendship and coming of age. The band, comprised of Livvy Bennet on vocals and guitar, Dylan Hill on drums, Michael Hunter on the keyboard, and Noor Khan on the bass, has been connected for longer than they have been making music together. These deep ties drive their music, Pocket Fantasy especially. Written during quarantine, when most of the members shared a house in Atlanta, Pocket Fantasy is the ultimate best friend album.
The album mostly touches on that even if the world is chaotic and scary, the one thing that makes it okay is the relationships that we have with each other. “Frog 2”, the opening track, is a great example of this idea. It says, “You should hold on to the few who understand you/They’re real friends on a hill/Watching stars and crossing arms/ Oh, they love you/It doesn’t really matter if it’s real now.” The following track “Mythical Bonds” keeps this going with the final lyrics being “I don’t care what I do so long as I do it with you.” The lyrics are seemingly undertones to the moving rhythms and beats, but they are no less important. The lyrics range from sweet sentiments about friendship to deep questions about what it means to live and look forward to the future.
The instrumental aspect of the album is the epitome of today’s indie pop. Full of quirks, abrupt changes and stops, influence from several genres, and a range of sounds, Mamalarky holds nothing back for this album. Each instrument has its own moment to shine, like the guitar riff in “The Hour” or the killer drum beats on “Shining Armor.” The keys hold their own, using a variety of sounds to pull in the electric organ and various odd sounds throughout the album. Most of the album was recorded in home studios, giving the band more freedom to play with their sound and change the songs as they like. The instruments have the “at home” feel, but it adds to the charm of the album.
Mamalarky’s warm and fuzzy “ode to friendships” as Bandcamp calls it, is a great way to get your indie pop fix. Pocket Fantasy is a sure hit and captures what it means to walk through life with close friends in the good and the bad.
Picture Credits: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/mamalarky-pocket-fantasy/