Anxiety and insecurity surrounding love are major topics found within Mauno’s (pronounced Mao-no) sophomore album, Tuning. Frontman Nick Everett sets the theme on the first track “Or Just,” a song about believing love given is not being reciprocated. The lyrics are repeated throughout the song to help burn the idea into the listener making it easy to find throughout the next 13 tracks.
Musically, the album has an unpredictable quality that helps reaffirm the uncertainty of relationships. Moving from quietly sung lines over gentle guitar to clashing cymbals and soaring distortion, it gives the feeling of unease as a song can zig when intuition says it should zag.
The band explores the idea of everyday sounds and the importance of time and place by using field recordings taken from various regions that were at times called home.
As complex as Tuning can seem, the genre that permeates throughout is pop. Although the melodies can seem odd, they are still comforting and recognizable which reinforces a style unique to Mauno.
A great pop album is immediately familiar and enjoyable, but an incredible pop album is also intriguing enough to dissect. Mauno’s Tuning is an incredible pop record worth playing over and over.