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Growing up and feeling more with The Mineral Girls

One of Charlotte’s best kept secrets is the plethora of bands that rotate through some of our favorite venues. While it’s difficult to understand how some of these bands aren’t making their way through cities outside of NC, it’s selfishly amazing that we get to see them at such an intimate level and be among the first to experience fresh music. One of these secret Charlotte wonder-bands is the Mineral Girls.

October 13 marked the release of the band’s sophomore album, This Is the Last Time Every Time, and perhaps their best work to date. Not to undermine the greatness of 2015’s Cozy Body, but the obvious differences in the two records demonstrate just how self-aware the band is.

Since their formation in 2013, the Mineral Girls have changed quite a bit, from a lineup shake up to maturing as musicians. Though he’s back in the band now, bassist Dylan Fleming was absent during the writing and recording of This Is the Last Time Every Time, meaning friend Cory Cooper is responsible for for bits and pieces in the final outcome. The record still feels like a MG record, with honest lyrics and the same scratchy vocals, but it’s as if the band has rebranded into a more modern, clear cut body of art.

“We’ve also just progressively gotten better at writing together, and we’ve also gotten better at our instruments as well,” claimed guitarist Audrey Ayers. “We were all pretty much on the same page in that we wanted this album to be different, and maybe challenge what people think of us as a band.”

And challenge it did. The band recognizes that the band has made an antithetical version of their last record, with cleaner vocals, less reverb, and more complex lyrical themes. The title of the record itself demonstrates the heaviness of TITLTET.

Speaking of the name, which was really just an in-the-moment spark of inspiration from vocalist Brett Green, the use of the phrase inside of the record is both fitting and illustrative. Of course there’s a title track, right? But what about the track before the title track: “This Is the Last Time.” According to Green, this is the track whose second half is “the most we’ve ever shown our Joan of Arc influence.” On the contrary, guitarist Audrey Ayers feels the the title track is “very beautiful/emotional” to her, and that “The Bruise On We” pushes their sound “in directions she never imagined they’d take it.”

What’s important to recognize is that through the evolution of the band, within the members or in the work itself, one thing has stayed the same: the quality of the music.

“We went back and recorded with Kris Hilbert at Legitimate Business in Greensboro, where we did our 7” [Seven Inches of Release],” said Ayers. “We only had one day of studio time to record the 7”, and not really a clear vision of how we wanted the songs to sound, but for the record we took 4 days and had a way more concrete idea that we communicated to Kris of what we were trying to achieve. Before these two releases, the band pretty much exclusively recorded in bedrooms with limited gear.”

Musical maturation aside, better gear and more advanced programs are a surefire way to improve the delivery of art.

Now, here we are, weeks after the record dropped and the band is ready to bring TITLTET to a city near you.

“We’re very proud of this record, excited to show it to the world, but nervous because we really are putting ourselves out there to the fullest extent with this one,” said Ayers. “I think it’s also kind of a relief that it’s finally out there and out of our hands too.”

Touring is the goal for 2018, but until then, MG is playing a handful of shows around the Tarheel State. Our mountain friends in Boone can catch them playing a house show with America Is A Mistake and Moral Combat, and then back in CLT on the 17th with WIUECA and Julian Calendar at Snug Harbor. As of now, the last show of 2017 takes places December 11th at Petra’s with Queen Jesus! Then we’re onto 2018 and a whole new set of show dates.

If TITLTET hasn’t found its way into your ears yet, you can stream on a ton of platforms, including BandCamp, Spotify, Tidal, and iTunes.

Sheila Walsh graduated from USC Aiken in 2015 with a degree in English. While in school, she won an essay competition for an argumentative essay on why the arts are crucial to the education system. Additionally, she was recruited to play volleyball for USCA and contributed to a weekly journal discussing the life of a student-athlete. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

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