Album Review: Mike Hotter Vintage Head’s ‘Autumn Aura’

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As the weather changes and the frost begins to set in during the early hours of the morning – as emotional beings – we often seek a soundtrack befitting our immediate surroundings to elucidate the mysterious and that which we do not understand. Released on Nov. 5th, Mike Hotter Vintage Head’s newest EP, Autumn Aura, did just that for me.

The opening track, ‘The Call (No More Room)’, starts with a kind of P.J Harvey meets Sparklehorse sleepy confessional. The track turns out to be unpredictable, taking the listener through a modern psychedelic nightmare. But there is a subtle undercurrent of sweetness. 

Some interesting dynamics throughout the entire EP exist; a tug of war is apparent; from quiet to hectic, from calm to panic – the record certainly does not lack character or integrity. Mike Hotter Vintage Heads’ songwriting is interesting and informed by some communion with celestial autumn ghosts. My favorite tracks are ‘Even When The Sun is Crying (You’re Never Alone)’ and ‘Beautiful Dreamer’, and the starkness of the transition between the two serves as a median for the EP.

‘Beautiful Dreamer’ has fuzz galore and pays homage to some 1970s glam rock and 90s Flaming Lips. Up until this track, each song is underpinned by an acoustic guitar track that sounds like it was recorded on tape and then further bounced down. In my opinion, this may be one of the only setbacks of Autumn Aura; the acoustic guitar track sounds like it suffered too much from generation loss and consequently is too thinned out and trebly. In this regard, they could have benefitted from spending more time on the mix and mastering. 

Conversely, this lo-fi touch works perfectly for ‘Beautiful Dreamer’. I instantly got the same shot of emotion as I get when I put The Jesus and Mary Chain record on. 

The last track on Autumn Aura is an instrumental: ‘Been Burned Blues’. It showcases some great delta blues via country-style guitar picking. 

Track two, ‘Sound of Eyes (Scorpio Mix)’, reminds me of a kind of hypnotic mantra straight from the 1960s. It’s got that garage-psychedelic rock feel to it; from the choice of the chord sequence which acts as a bedrock for vocals that channels Jim Morrison; the lyrics reveal the narrator as vulnerable and desperate, calling out for help. The record is haunted in the best way possible and would have been perfect for a Holloween release.

Overall, Mike Hotter Vintage Heads delivered a great piece of art with Autumn Aura, and I would recommend it to anyone willing to listen.

You can listen to Mike Hotter Vintage Heads’ new EP, Autumn Aura, here.

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