‘Mythmaker’ is a pretty ambitious title for an EP. It lends itself to ideas of grandiose, size and impact.A re-imagining of something established. So is ‘Mythmaker’ Andy Mckee attempting to reinvent himself? Not so much. But there is some tasteful boundary pushing going on throughout these four tracks.
Everything I’ve ever found exciting about this artist is present on this EP. A release which is served well by its brevity because to be honest, a whole album of instrumental muso-inspired playing can get a bit tiring for those who aren’t musicians themselves. But as I’ve discovered this EP is the perfect length for the wander to and from work or to take up the majority of the train journey to Uni. Size does matter kids. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Musically McKee explores his typical blend of percussive elements and shimmering melodies in both triumphantly joyous moments as well as incredibly melancholic ones. ‘The Reason’ bridges these two feelings with a sound that brings to mind a sort of self-satisfied nostalgia. The memory’s of a past lover perhaps. Or a really good sandwich. Whatever takes you preference. I realise genuine statements of emotion aren’t cool on the internet, but it’s difficult not to find the music on this release moving.
This is particularly true of the piano driven ‘June’ which I find myself playing over and over again. Despite being drawn mostly to loud, noisy and aggressive music piano is definitely my favourite instrument to listen to, and the only one I can even play a little. ‘June’ is a simple, emotive, beautiful piece of music that doesn’t outstay its welcome for a second and sets up the closing multi-layered track ‘Lumine’ perfectly. It features piano, gentle acoustic guitars, slapped percussion and some tasty electric guitar action and somehow doesn’t seem out of context with the rest of the material here which focuses either exclusively on acoustic guitar or piano.
Andy Mckee’s Facebook page lists his band interests as performing and composing. He’s clearly indulged that second interest on ‘Mythmaker’ in some ways its his most ambitious work yet. It isn’t as flashy or in your face as the likes of ‘Drifting’ or ‘Hunter’s Moon’ and it doesn’t have the novelty value of his 80’s pop covers. It’s a short and sweet EP that sees McKee exploring his craft and in what seems like a very genuine way.
I’ll admit to harboring the notion that McKee might eventually end up delivering by albums by numbers for already devoted fans, despite how wonderful the songs on those albums may be. Judging by ‘Mythmaker’ that’s not happening any time soon.