‘Mind Palace Music’: A love letter to musical composition


From the opening measures, ‘Mind Palace Music’ straps the listener in for quite the trip. The blasting of dissonant harmonies and soft piano scales is transporting and could make anyone feel as if they had just been dropped down the rabbit hole.

These 11 tracks, made by two 24-year-olds over iMessage, showcase nothing but musical prowess as the two lead vocalists narrate their lives and love for one another. The alto voice shines like the pearl at a rocky sandbar while the bass voice haunts with its deep chill.

The dance performed by these two as they navigate their feelings is nothing short of perfection.

As the tracks begin to spin the listener starts to create their own mind palace, constructing rooms from each of these pieces.

The palace breaks ground with a bright, airy entryway. ‘Parapet’ and ‘Star Game’ are inviting, with harmonies that one can’t help but be drawn to. Both singers take their turn in the background as the instruments and dissonance take center stage.

‘Letters’ follows and could construct no room in the palace other than the kitchen. The mix of the alto voice and guitar feel like home, the warmth that accompanies the first bite of mom’s signature cooking.

As “I want you, In my truth and in my arms” is sung, memories of how vulnerable a kitchen can be flood the mind, as I’m sure we all have been at our breaking point while sitting at the kitchen counter at one point. However, just like the calm that follows the storm of a breakdown, ‘Letters’ emphasizes how people are loved in their entirety and how one’s “truth” makes them more beautiful than they could know.

Despite the cozy feel of ‘Letters’, it is clear something murky and dark lies beneath the surface, something that will not reveal itself until the latter tracks.

‘Friendship is Frequency’ depicts the platonic love we love to express in the living room. Bright vocals and the occasional “Wah wah wah wah” fill the air with the laughs of your closest friends.

The next tracks, ‘Boxwood Lane’ and the minute-long ‘Where’d You Put me’ solidify the foundation of the mind palace. The songs don’t stray from the formula, with expert vocals and a gorgeous flute solo in ‘Boxwood Lane’.

With vibes bright the listener expects nothing else to follow in the second half of the album. How wrong they are.

‘Major Blue Empty’ conjures images of people’s most vulnerable space. Our bedroom. The place where we are our truest selves.

This song depicts sinking into the major, blue emptiness. This vast desperation is driven by the twang of the guitar and the dissonant ring manufactured by the bass voice. A chilling lyric “I’m going through the objects in your home”, drives the point of how consuming depression can be and its power to make everyone and everything around it somber.

The next songs continue the pattern of lifting the listener and dashing their dreams not even two minutes later.

‘First Journal’ immediately reverses the vibe established in the track prior to it with a steady drum beat and harmonic chanting in the background.

After a sweet song, ‘Cut From Toxic Cloth’ reminds the listener that the ones who shaped them will always be around. “You’re an empty reflection of the hands that made you” is a lyric meant to sting and sting it does.

As the album rounds itself out a more hopeful and optimistic mindset is established. ‘Camera Phone’ and ‘My Garden’ feel like nothing but rays of sun in the summer. These upbeat tracks flourish in the backyard of the mind palace, reminding the listener it is always ok to take a minute and smell the roses.

With the album at a close, the construction of the mind palace is complete. A radiant estate as sprawling and colorful as love.

@ has not only succeeded in a musical sense, but on a broader scale seeing as this album is a stunning piece of art as well. A creation that tells a story from start to finish with every gritty detail in between.