Neutral Mind

Kevin J. McKay

Cudighi Records, 2020

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A Michigan songwriter, singer, and guitarist whose formula isn't easy to pin down but is certainly easy to enjoy, Kevin McKay has a knack for creating a mood with his charming song craft where you're as likely to hear power-pop influenced sounds just as you are exploratory, cosmic-like avenues of creativity on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Neutral Mind.

“Material” starts the listen spacey and ambient as guitars and percussion enter the speedy, dreamy indie rock. “System” follows with a soothing quality in a much more subdued delivery that often points to early days of college rock.

This is an album where every track is truly impressive; deeper cuts like “Headspace” recruit post-punk ideas with plenty of energy and melody, while “Dancing Mediums” brings a touch of psychedelia amid plenty of pop nods in the elegant yet adventurous landscape. “Pattern Maker,” the album highlight – and when I say that I mean it's only very slightly more interesting than the rest of the stunning album – then adopts an ethereal and hypnotic climate of dynamic interplay where surf and psych rock are both in attendance.

Late in the record, “Sweetness” pairs strong percussion with a meditative setting that gets pretty close to New Age, and “Stone” fades out the listen with a surreal haze of wispy sounds and blurry musicianship that you forget anytime soon.

McKay is joined by Tyler Hicks on bass, Eric Kuhn behind the drum kit, and Isaac Levine holding down synth. Levine also recorded the album, which was mastered by the legendary Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good To Me, City Center,  Mighty Clouds). Together, they make the most out of every second of Neutral Mind, as there isn't a dull moment to be found across the ten tracks.

Like much of the music on the Cudighi Record Label, this one's on a high quality cassette in physical form, but comes with a download code and some pretty great artwork, too.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2020 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Cudighi Records, and is used for informational purposes only.