Pop/rock trio, A Story Told, have released their latest album Mundane Magic and the record is a culmination of the band’s commitment to their craft and willingness to be vulnerable in their music. The album incorporates elements of their pop/punk roots and also showcases their more mature, indie-pop leaning sound.
Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, A Story Told formed amongst the hills of Appalachia (a place not commonly associated with a vibrant music scene, especially alternative pop bands). However, these very roots have played a very fundamental significance in shaping the band’s work ethic and ethos which has proven to be a major factor in their success. Since the release of Keep Watch in 2016, the band has operated and remained fully independent with every song in their discography being completely self-produced and self-written.
Mundane Magic kicks off with “Heaven Doesn’t Care” and wastes no time leaning full swing in to the indie-pop sound that is so prominent on the album. Serving as the album’s opener it almost feels like an expanded intro of sorts as it is the second shortest track on the album. While the runtime may be short it does a great job of setting the stage for what is to come. “Superstitious” follows suite and carries a slight sense of whimsy mixed in that adds an additional layer to the track. “Have You Ever Met God?” which is rather upbeat and feels a bit like a contrast to the lyrical content/theme. It’s solid in every sense but is intriguingly ambiguous almost. “High Class” keeps the light and fun atmosphere moving and throws in some saxophone for good measure.
“Tell Me Why” remains steadfast within the pop sensibilities that have been ever present thus far, but manages to give a slight 80s vibe in all the right ways. “Mundane Magic” keeps that same aesthetic in place and adds just a dash of soul for some additional depth. “Feels Like We Made It” shifts away from the 80s vibe, but still manages to keep things fun and light within the tight composition of the track. “Never Around” showcases a little more of the pop/punk roots of the band, but manages to flawlessly blend them within the poppier side of the sound which gives the track an almost anthemic feel.
“Love It Here” maintains the pop aesthetic, but manages to downshift from the more upbeat tempo of the rest of the album. “My Place” shifts the tempo back to what could be considered the norm for the album and fits nicely within the aforementioned indie-pop aesthetic. “Choked Up” (which is the album’s shortest track) seems to serve as a bit of a prelude to the culmination of the album, “Rodeo.” “Rodeo” closes out the album in such a starkly different way than the rest of the album. The tempo starts more middle ground, but finds a more upbeat footing fairly early in. There is some nice vocal layering interwoven throughout the track and with the lyrical elements of the track it serves as the perfect closer to the album giving both a sense of finality and open-endedness.
Overall, Mundane Magic is anything but mundane. However, it is full of magic as it is a nonstop fun ride of an indie-pop album. It is overflowing with catchy hooks and pop sensibility without being oversaturated with sugary nonsense.
Mundane Magic is out now via independent release and is available on all major digital and streaming platforms. In addition, you can purchase physical copies via the band’s webstore.
A Story Told do not have any tour dates currently listed, but will embark on a headlining US tour in Spring 2024 so keep an eye on their webpage for dates as they are announced.