There's a closeness to Alex Napping's sophomore album, Mise En Place. The record feels like a bottle episode of a TV show, where everything unfolds in a limited space — the air is dense with emotions. On Mise En Place, this space is the "living room filled with all of our stuff," where "on the floor there are notes so haphazardly thrown." This is the place of "bittersweet goodbyes covered in a drowsiness."
Lead singer Alex Cohen isn't drowsy though, she's exhausted. In a captivating display of strength, she runs on confusion, anger and eye-rolls. On standout track "Fault" she tries to rapidly fill the cracks of a crumbling relationship ("If nothing is wrong then you're lying") and on closer "Heart Swells 2.0," so many emotions lap at her feet, but she still stands. Cohen's exasperation is mirrored in the garage-rock and pop instrumentals: the guitars on "You've Got Me" whine angrily, "Temperamental Bed" tosses and turns between hushed to frantic, and the synth on "Wife and Kidz" rumbles threatening like a storm before it breaks.
Mise En Place is a dense but enthralling record from Alex Napping and it will be interesting to see what the band does when they step outside. (Father/Daughter)