Albums of the Week

The New Up - Tiny Mirrors

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The Bay Area album release show for Tiny Mirrors takes place Saturday, November 12th at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. Purchase tickets here

Obsessively listenable, whip-smart, and seductive as a nibble on the ear in a darkened room, Tiny Mirrors, the long-awaited culmination of some deep wood-shedding (including stints in actual forests) from San Francisco’s The New Up, is future-forward in an age where pop is looking back to 1989 and earlier to manically milk nostalgia’s teats.

Tiny Mirrors mixes pop and politics in a winning way that recalls U2’s Achtung Baby, Prince’s Sign of the Times, and Gang of Four’s Entertainment! Like these contemporary touchstones, The New Up have crafted music very much of their age and slightly out of time, a groovy dislocation in a richly layered landscape that feels ever-present, a unique envelopment where every detail is warm and well placed, the production and playing on-point throughout, captivating voices whipping through the air like birds in conversation.

“Months turning into years, river filling up with tears,” the much-discussed apocalypse looms, the eerie opening statement from George Orwell making that abundantly clear, but also clear is the way forward is a matter of personal choices, thousands and thousands of them, down to the smallest motion towards positivity of a single bright thought. In this Year of Trump, this song cycle is eerily timely, peeling back the layers of today’s pervasive victimhood and eager outrage that drives so many, positing hope in self-reflection and active dreaming, a vision of real freedom delivered through conscious, empathetic action. Tiny Mirrors is filled with star-like flickers in the void, the expanse of what humanity is up against faced with clear, shining eyes and a fierce groove to drive us onward and upward.

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