Published May 14, 2019Andrew Carter, better known as Minor Poet, has squeezed his heart into his sophomore album, The Good News. With a sound that's matured from his buoyantly youthful first effort, And How!, his newest record explores the turbulence of relationships — and ultimately life itself — with moderate honesty.
Clocking in at around 22 minutes, six upbeat pop tracks weave seamlessly together to create an atmosphere of ease. On the surface, the soundscape of Minor Poet is a bright summer day flooded with upbeat vibes. Splashes of surf rock emerge on "Bit Your Tongue/All Alone Now," giving a nostalgic nod to the Beach Boys while painting a portrait of a secluded, secretive kind of love. But there's a melancholic underbelly to each track, with lyrics radiating gloom.
A multi-instrumentalist, Carter ensures every sound is purposeful. Every guitar strum is a calculated effort in layering, as he creates a vessel for escapism. He succeeds with crafting a dreamy album that feels carefree and retro, layering jangling guitars and synths that reverberate through time and space to give a sense of immutability. It's breezy and airy enough to enjoy without digging into the darker themes of anxiety and depression.
"Tropic of Cancer" is a sweetly blue song that weaponizes its charm to subvert how Carter's emotion translates to the outside world — albeit in a very quirky way. It's fitting for an album that sways in and out of sadness without committing to exploring it fully. (Sub Pop)