In a world that celebrates musical slickness and high production values, fabricated coolness and pop conformity, it is great to stumble across artists like Mirror Trash. It pretty much confirms my faith in the grassroots, those who are exploring creativity rather than seeking celebrity, that mainstream music is just so much froth on a ridiculously price cup of latte and for a fraction of the price you could make a better, cheaper and more satisfying beverage at home. In that analogy, Mirror Trash is of course that first cup of freshly brewed beans that gets the day started.
It is easy to point at the simplicity and understatement of both the song and the video but that is to miss the point of both, for me that is where their charm and their greatest strengths lay. With my formative musical years being a while ago now and music being cyclical when viewed over a long enough cultural loop, I hear similarities to the music I grew up with, music made even before the man behind this wonderfully shimmering musical affair was born. As some of the post-punks of the 80’s embraced the new technologies available to them, especially guitar peddles, a rather brilliant wave of what became known as shoe-gaze arose. As this then again evolved and coalesced around a slightly more mainstream sound, one that would sadly eventually help to build the trash pile known as Brit-Pop, a sort of dreamscape indie was created and it is this sound which echoes in Vacancies gentle and slightly melancholic chimes.
There is a simplicity at work that belies how clever the song actually is but look a little closer and you can get a bit mesmerised by the restraint and grace of the guitar textures, of its chiming cascades shot through with more confident hooks. The vocals sit somewhere in the middle distance, not dominating nor remote either. Add a beat and a minimal bass line and you have a song that knows how to cover a lot of ground without becoming too complicated.
In some way it is the sound of a million bedroom troubadours all making lo-fi indie music and dreaming of bigger budgets, bigger stages or perhaps just bigger bedrooms. But I hope that if any of those things come Mirror Trash’s way that it does change its inherent charm. Sometimes less is more and by extension more of the less makes for more of the more…or something, I’m not good with existential philosophies.