The most striking thing about Save Your Season, though, is its unfailing coherence. Don't spotify this one if you can help it – the ads will ruin it for you.
Mint Julep, the cocktail traditionally consumed by Kentucky gamblers on Derby Day, seems like an unexpected name for a band that embodies the alternative chic of the far cooler (both literally and metaphorically) city of Portland, Oregon. But this band doesn’t seem so bothered about doing what is expected of them. Mint Julep is the musical power couple individually known as Hollie and Keith Kenniff; they are married with a young son. Society might tell them that starting a band and working together to create music is a bad idea, but then society is wrong. The fruits of their creative partnership, of which Mint Julep is only one part, prove that it is, in fact, a shockingly good idea. Take that, conformity.
Their latest record is full of darkly introspective moments, expansive soundscapes and eery crescendos. Opening with the instrumental Chasing The Wind Catching the Shadows, shimmering synths and swooning vocals blend into a tranquil haze before the album drops you into the dark fantasy that is Aviary. With its resounding drum beats, uncanny synth drones and driving distorted guitars, the beginning of this track will have you just as on edge as any Guillermo del Torro film before softening into a velvety smooth, sumptuous chorus.
The most striking thing about Save Your Season, though, is its unfailing coherence. Don't spotify this one if you can help it – the ads will ruin it for you. The songs flow as an unrelenting, somehow sinister stream of noise, with the menacing energy of a self-destructive drinking binge. The album is perfectly concluded with Why Don't We, a rhythmic electro-pop song fuelled with the same intense energy that builds into an expansive shoe-gaze-esque finale, an apt summary of all that this band have got to give.
This is the strength of Mint Julep: they are unfailing atmospheric, (something that probably stems from Keith Kenniff's experience in ambient music), but they are never inaccessible. They have the same knack of conjuring a stomping rhythm, with their bass lines and distorted rhythm guitar, as The Joy Formidable do – take Days Gone By as an example – with the dreamy, art-house cool of Washed Out and the hipster-factor of fellow Portlanders, YACHT. All in all, Save Your Season is definitely an album you cannot afford to miss.