ManaLion bring audiences that smooth and organic, alternative folk-pop sound with a flicker of roots about it. Think back to the days of Jack Johnson or even Sublime, and when the hook kicks in – there’s undoubtedly an element of classic soul to the melodic development; something of a Stevie Wonder feel. With every new section of the song something fresh meanders into the soundscape. It’s a simple track, stylistically – there’s a delicacy about it, but there’s also an addictive sense of rhythm and good vibes that just satisfies.
The more you hear this, the more that ascending guitar riff settles in, the higher notes of the hook melody accompany it in making sure you know the moment and will return for the minimalist hit of the progression. It has the aura of My Girl, in some respects, but with a dash of something cool and calming – this is the groove we seek out during those hazy days at the festivals or down at the beach.
On top of the musical value of this track, which is, in itself, more than enough to prompt a search for a live show, ManaLion offer something refreshingly interesting in the way of songwriting. Every lyric has something fresh about it – not unlike the style of writing you might find on an Incubus album. There’s a familiar warmth to the music and the overall sound, but the lyrics seem brand new – intriguing, appealing, and yet still cleverly relevant and accessible. The balance the band have achieved between the unknown and the easy to reach works beautifully. You get these words in your head with the laid-back manner in which they pour through, and you remember and recognise them for their unique characteristics. Absolute worth a listen and I look forward to hearing much more from ManaLion.