It can be hard to feel comfortable enough to even release a debut album or EP. Especially considering it’s typically one’s first time putting themselves out there to be judged and criticized. But once you get through that, the well of creativity tends to start rising, to the point where it may even overflow.
This is a situation becoming familiar to MD McNally, whom we got to know last year when we helped premiere his single “Midwestern Day,” off his debut solo album The Marvelous. Now, he has made a quick return with his brand new EP Crimes, a nicely put-together set of songs that shows an artist who has really started to find his groove. If you listen to it in unison with The Marvelous, it certainly feels like a set of songs that are a natural progression for McNally. It demonstrates his evolution as a songwriter, an artist who feels much more self-assured with the creative decisions he’s making. He felt more reassured this time in knowing ahead of time how something he records may end up sounding as a finished product, which he obviously did not have the luxury of with The Marvelous.
Offering his view on the EP, McNally tells us:
“For me, Crimes is an entry point to the things I find most exciting about songwriting and sound-scaping. I think the EP plays to my strengths as a musician while tying a myriad of influences into 16 minutes of pulsing folk, gritty hall rock, and open road twang, even closing with a pro-peace waltz. It’s a progression of five songs that really stood out from a larger back catalogue and fit very well together despite the stylistic differences.”
In terms of songwriting, recording, and producing, Crimes was mostly a true solo effort. Altogether, McNally wrote with a real sense of purpose and intention at his home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and he eventually found himself with twelve solid songs finished. But he didn’t want to just put all twelve out for the sake of it, so he selected the five that he felt both best represented him as an artist, and would also make for the best listen.
They all fit together like puzzle pieces, but not to the point where they sound like knockoffs of each other. Each track has its own stylistic origin, from folk, to blues, to Southern-flavoured ballads. Crimes is both succinct and stirring, but most of all satisfying.
Crimes Track Listing:
2. Upon Arrival
3. Turning On The Light
4. Villain Within
5. East To West