Recorded in a span of four or five days in a Georgia attic, Miquel Mouré exploded into existence with The Ape X Demo—a collection of four cynical pop songs that will somehow delight your soul. The band’s sound can only be described as melancholic pop with catchy hooks and melodies laced with cynical lyrics that are tiny missiles aimed at God, past lovers, and the emotional depravity that is looking at oneself in the mirror (so to speak).
The insane thing about this “band,” is that it’s composed entirely of one, mad mastermind, Isaac Jon Enen—who sounds like a forgotten child yearning to escape the attic he’s spent his youth in. Enen’s voice his harrowing and gives off the impression that he’s lost something (and it’s unknown to me, from my perspective, whether or not he’s trying to regain that “something”). He creates these sad, perfect choruses behind his “sermon-like” verses. With lines like, “I see the writers on their chopping blocks, they’re all got their typewriters and they’re willing to talk about the next thing they’re working on. You see, it’s really different and everything goes wrong,” and, “Artists and fisherman both need hooks, and on the television we learn how to cook our drugs with cinematic help, but who wants to pay for that girl to love herself?” Both are such cynical little lines about the world and the people around him (I also took glee and comfort in concluding that the line about drugs was a Breaking Bad reference).
Though “This Song is the Town Bicycle” (which is where the two previous lines mentioned are from) is full of other lines aimed at the world Enen perceives, songs like “Just a Little Lie” discuss more personal struggles like religious faith, “We’re all moving towards the light now. We think it’s the only thing we see. But where’s the light when you’re stumbling through the darkness? Who’s got it under lock and key?” The song itself is an existential crisis, “Cause nothing really matters at all, if you’ve never tried. Cause nothing really matters if I’m right.” And I have to wonder how much this guy suffers. There’s definitely a sense of irony that these lyrics are placed within bright melodies that are danceable and radio-friendly. What better way to get people to listen to what you’re really saying than by surrounding it with pleasant harmonies? Probably the best song on the album, “Vanilla Extract” is a 50’s-esque waltz for some lover Enen holds with some sort of quirky mysticism. A struggle of having feelings for someone but abstaining from them because you’re aware of your destructive nature, “I think I step up looking like a million bucks, but let’s be honest: I’m only good for a couple of smiles, before I lose interest and walk away. And I’ll never forgive myself if I do that to her.” There’s a push and pull with Enen’s lyricism—a struggle of trying to hold oneself together while secretly picking yourself apart in attempt to reach some sort of perfection. And I can’t help but love that this concept comes out so clearly through these four songs—it’s almost unbearable how relatable it is.
The band’s sound is a mix of Hellogoodbye, Fun, and Typhoon—complex pop songs that strive away from the usual song structure but are still catchy and memorable. There’s no definite “chorus” in any of these songs, which, as I’ve mentioned in other articles, is a recent trend that a lot more indie bands are starting to pick up in regards to their songwriting. But Enen does it his own, unique way by still using “pop music” traits (such as the anthemic aspect to these songs similar to Fun’s latest album). There’s little obscurity as to what’s going on—it’s almost as if you know where the song’s going without it being overly predictable. There’s a high point that just gets you—it creates this burst of emotion (especially in “Just a Little Lie” and “Vanilla Extract”) that sends you soaring to a place in Enen’s mind that is both dreamlike and tortured.
Miquel Mouré, if anything, is a band to watch. A fairly new project that’s based out east, you’ll most likely find Enen roaming around Savannah (a hell of an art college town) with friends or by himself smoking some cigarette contemplating his life and songs. And the thing that’s so great about this little EP is that those two things seem to bleed into one another. I get a good sense of Enen’s woes and triumphs, his sense of self-criticism, and the struggle he has with world around him. We need more artists like this—artists that reach out to us and try to connect with us in one way or another. Because those are the artists that really need us to reach back and connect with them. They’re searching for something, and are hoping to find it within us somehow—and who are we to deny them?