Artist To Watch: Mikal Cronin
Until fairly recently, Mikal Cronin’s pop-friendly chops have been relegated to the role of back-up player; as the bassist in surf-punk band the Moonhearts (formerly Charlie & the Moonhearts) and as a collaborator and tour-mate of renowned San Francisco garage-rock-revivalist Ty Segall. But whereas Segall’s lo-fi fuzzed-out fury has brought him to the forefront of a movement that includes fellow San Franciscans Thee Oh Sees, Cronin remains devoted to crafting a style that’s more classic-pop and indebted to the garage bands of the 60s in ways beyond mere sonic imitation. See that acoustic guitar he’s strumming in the live video above? Just a few tracks into Mikal’s self-titled solo debut and you’ll also hear flute, sugary-sweet vocal harmonies, and more pleasant punk rock faux-pas. While Cronin’s music isn’t entirely separate of it’s cultural connections– Segall and Thee Oh Sees’ John Dwyer both make guest appearances, and the album was preceded by a rowdier joint effort with Segall titled Reverse Shark Attack— he does a remarkable job of combining classic record-store geek influences (The Beach Boys, Can, Suicide, even some Jesus and Mary Chain) with a sound truly his own. Here’s hoping people take notice and we see Cronin rise above the garage-revival heap in the near future.
Below: Mikal Cronin & Ty Segall’s rip-roaring take on David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust classic “Suffragette City”