Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers - Stuck in a Daydream

Carpe Sonum
(MHMC101: 708527180839)
Release date: 11/02/2018
Genre: Americana

Stuck in a Daydream, the debut album from Los Angeles-based quartet Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers, might be labeled Americana, and accurately so, but throughout are hints of blues, rock and roll, folk, psychedelia, even bossa nova. Unlike albums where every track sounds the same, Daydream might variously make you stamp your boots on the floorboards and clap along, weep, pull out your journal and express bottled up feelings, and straight up party. Mindy McCall of No Depression describes the album as, “part of a recent trend within indie rock that fuses the ethics of punk rock and DIY with the sonic experimentalism of psychedelia and stripped down song structures of folk and traditional blues.” 

A musician who first picked up a guitar at age 8, and whose harmonica-playing would do her hero Bob Dylan proud, Molly Hanmer stands in stark contrast with many of her peers. She eschews the elaborate make-up and ultra-sexy outfits typical for female singer-songwriters of the day, allowing a more natural beauty to shine through, and employs the same philosophy in her songs: they stand on their own, without the need for heavy reverb and layers of sound to prop them up. The album is the product of Hanmer teaming with two industry pros who share her musical views, producer Marvin Etzioni (co-founder of Lone Justice) and engineer Sheldon Gomberg, a two-time Grammy winner, most recently for Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, along with her talented band, The Midnight Tokers. 

The music on Stuck in a Daydream, like Molly Hanmer herself, is authentic, and while that might be an overused word today, there is simply no better word to describe Hanmer or Stuck in a Daydream. Reviewing the song “Fool’s Run” from the album, Mindy McCall of No Depression writes, “Stringing together poignant lyrics with an elegantly restrained vocal from Hanmer, 'Fool’s Run' does one thing better than any song I’ve reviewed this year: It doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It’s a refreshing listening experience in contrast to anything that their closest competitors have come up with lately. At this stage of the game virtually anything is possible for them, and the fact that they’re cutting tracks as vividly stylized and attractively produced as this one speaks volumes about where they stand to go over the course of the next five to ten years.”
1. Take a Walk with Me
2. Real Love
3. Fool's Run (Different Song)
4. Old Number Seven
5. Love Song
6. Stuck in a Daydream
7. Come Back
8. Outlaw Blues
9. Drag You Along
10. Workers' Lament
11. Dead Happy
12. Mama's in the Spirit World Now

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