Mantra Love: Mantra Love EP Review

By Ryan Lacerda
Local Music Journalist

Mantra LoveArtist: Mantra Love
Album: Mantra Love
Release Date: November 7th, 2015
Website: https://mantralove.bandcamp.com

Hailing from Houston, Texas and formed on November 9, 2013, Mantra Love blends dream pop, beach­-goth and psychedelic rock. Their self debut album Mantra Love drowns in luscious nostalgia and introspection.

The opening track is titled “Hiraeth,” which is a Welsh word that mixes the feelings of longing and homesickness into one word. This song really does capture and evoke those feelings. “Hiraeth” begins with Cody Boyer’s catchy drum piece and a short palm­-muted guitar riff until it melts effortlessly into dreamy synths and the vocalist Derek Silva’s flowing smooth voice. “Hiraeth” successfully lulls listeners into the rest of the album. The lyrics are his thoughts on a girl he seems to want to solidify a relationship with but it always ends too soon after a fleeting night together.

Their second song, “Perceptions,” makes me feel like I wish I could help someone that doesn’t want my help. With lyrics, “Why do you always say you feel okay/When the look on your face never says the same thing,” I might not be too off the mark. Especially when the second verse says, “Lie to yourself say you’re okay/Your smile was always so fake,” I perceive him talking about someone who wants to change things but doesn’t have the correct perception of what change requires.

“Howlin’” is my favorite track on their EP. A coasting guitar riff drenched in shoe-gaze effects starts off this slower tempo song which is accompanied by bassist Fabian Silva’s heavy driving lines. In congruence with its first lines, “Well don’t you know/Time can slow/You don’t need to move so fast/Take the time to make it pass,” Howlin’ suggests to clear your mind of worries and stop hurrying if you want to immerse yourself into the present moment and savor life and the song itself. The next few lines, “Well don’t you know/ You can let your love show/You don’t need to always be so mad/Cut down/And take off the mask,” allude to appreciating someone instead of always being on the defensive and thus not opening up and making yourself vulnerable which is also the only way to truly connect.

“Dream Chasin’” is the final track, sealing their EP with a faster tempo song urging the audience to aspire to whatever passion they want. The drums in this song really grab me and make me want to thrash around as if I knew I would achieve my dreams. Cody Boyer sounds a lot like Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience in this song. I can’t wait to hear the second EP from these guys.

James Jordan II

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