Just Mustard’s latest album, “Heart Under”, soars with cacophonous climaxes and haunting beauty

Just Mustard
Just Mustard, ‘Heart Under’ artwork

Noisy and chaotic, industrial and dark ‘Heart Under’ pulls Just Mustard away from their shoegaze debut and sees them evolve their sound into something that cannot be pigeon-holed. This post-punk exploration of their sound and creativity delivers cacophonous climaxes, machinery-like guitars that contrast with Ball’s delicate and intimate voice. It would be easy to drown in the deep and swamp sounds of the instrumentation, but Ball’s vocals keep you afloat above the murky depths of this album.

Just Mustard push their instruments past the standard expectations, shifting their sounds to something almost unrecognisable as instruments. Creating contorted patterns of sounds rather than identifiable melodies, Just Mustard successfully create a swirling soundscape that provides the perfect bed for the haunting vocals that guide the journey through the album.

Cinematic and expansive, songs like ‘Still’ and ‘Blue Chalk’ would be strong additions to movie soundtracks, the latter channeling the mysterious and mythological. A Portishead / Fontaines DC influence is audible throughout this record, as the darker swirling guitar textures work to craft something that is new and totally their own.

Bell’s vocals remind me of Arlo Parks in some respects, delicate, intimate, and deliberate. In songs like ’23’ and ‘Seed’, the vocal harmonies merge together to form a drone-like chant, giving the songs mythical and spiritual undertones which contrast beautifully with the harsh construction sounds created by the guitar. The vocals on this record are both haunting and enchanting, a feeling of beauty within the dark is exposed in this album.

Watch the official music video for “Still” by Just Mustard on YouTube:

Just Mustard, “Still”

As a whole, this album flows effortlessly, one song blends into the next and there is subtle variation between each track. In this small variation lies the magic of this record, which on first listen might sound lethargic when in reality Just Mustard have been able to achieve enough variation and progression to create a fluidity in this album that is not often heard on modern albums.

These ten songs belong together, an inseparable family of songs that delivers a cohesive listening experience. Just Mustard have announced a string of tour dates across the UK, Europe and an upcoming tour in North America with support from White Flowers and Been Stellar, and are fresh off the back of their Irish tour and Glastonbury performance which saw them hit the legendary John Peel Stage.

It will be exciting to see how this album is translated onto the stage in what are sure to be electrifying live shows. The hypnotic nature of some of the songs on ‘Heart Under’ will create a spiritual and frenzied crowd I’m sure. Tickets for the UK dates which span September are available via the bands social media and website.

For more info on the band, check them out on Facebook & Instagram, and all major music streaming platforms. If you enjoyed this article, check out more reviews from IAMUR here… You might just find your new favourite artist!

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