This band from New Zealand will immediately sweep you off your feet to a bright and sunny place. The Map Room is influenced by several of the band member’s trip to South America. They have brought some of that international appeal to this self-titled album The Map Room as it is reminiscent of popular bands like Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and Metronomy, yet is cultured, dynamic and a bit exotic.
The opening track really showcases the artists’ ability to construct compelling lyrics. The song is very soothing yet upbeat and catchy, the repetition of “find me find me find me…” becomes hypnotic throughout the song. “There’s a Fire” is a bit of a mellower track with lyrics that paint somewhat of a dreary sentiment, yet infused with positive optimism. Another song that has more upbeat persona is “Lay Down Here.” From the beginning, the guitar and vocals grab the listener. This is a song that can fit in many situations, a party or a beach excursion. The breakdown of the song is really uplifting and just makes you want to dance.
Another song that really struck me is “Memory.” It just transcends reality and effortlessly opens the gates of wonder, dreams and love. Another ethereal track is “Visitors.” I appreciate it for its lack of lyrics and its simplicity in terms of pure music.
Overall this album is a high-quality production of well-executed experimental folk rock music. The vocals all carry on hypnotically, the lyrics are touching, and the structure and sounds of the song are very pleasing all around.
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