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Money Mark
Brand New By Tomorrow
Brushfire Records/Universal Music Group

Every artist needs a point of entry into the music business and for singer/ songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Mark Ramos-Nishita (aka Money Mark) his point of entry was as the keyboard player for the Beastie Boys. Ironically, Mark's second solo effort Brand New By Tomorrow isn't anything like the Beastie Boys but more like the mellow melodic soft rock chromes of Nick Cave, Mates Of State, Aqueduct, and Vive Voce. Produced by Mario Caldato and Money Mark, the album softly flutters with allotments of harpsichord, chamber strings, omnichord, grand piano, harmonica, and harp feathering. The tuneful attributes and subtle modulations pull together coruscating chimes and delicate movements toiled compatibly into tender mists and hushed pastorals.

Brand New By Tomorrow is Mark's follow up to his solo debut release Mark's Keyboard Repair and touches inside his folk-pop aspects and blues-rock properties. The album unfurls with crickets clacking in the backdrop as a reclining tempo reminiscent of John Lennon moistens the melodic posse on "Color Of Your Blues." The tempo picks up on "Pick Up The Pieces," which Mark co-wrote with Jack Johnson, with jangly tambourines and lightly tottering drum quakes forming the pulp of the mixture. The piano and acoustic guitar lullaby series on "Pretend To Sleep" has a folk-pop orientation with a silky acquiescence like El Perro Del Mar. Mark launches into a fluidly bluesy momentum on "My Loss Your Gain", which interfaces gentle rolling riffs and velvety plush cadences.

The tune "Everyday I Die A little" is one of the more cheery melodies on the disc, assembling a score of omnichord, harp, and lap guitar creations. Mark indulges in Corinne Baily Rae-like jazz ruffles and ascensions on the piano keys for "Black Butterfly" and the rapping guitar flanges on "Radiate Nothing." The gypsy-style percussive beats on "Nice To Me" have a Mary Lee's Corvette popping syncopation along a sprightly beamed harmonica spritz. The shuffling percussion on "Eyes That Ring" is peppered with twittering synth effects and bulging horn bellows. The title track seals the album with a dainty folk-pop trajectory and revisits Mark's bluesy vocal intonations for the final encore.

Money Mark's album is contemporary with tentacles in the past, rumpled by subliminal sounds tucked into the melodic fabric like communicative crickets, baby rattles, and the sharpening of machetes. The tunage has roots in retro-folk with transfusions of modern graffiti mitigating an assembly of Lennon-esque vocal tones and Vive Voce jaunts. Though Money Mark's history includes collaborations with Yoko Ono, Beck, and Jack Johnson, his solo outing seems to have its own solid make-up and identity. The songs express complacency in the fluid tendrils and misty sonic lagoons and take the listener to the core of recessed memories finding contentment in what's already there.

-Susan Frances

Track Listing:
1. Color Of Your Blues
2. Pick Up The Pieces
3. Summer Blue
4. Pretend To Sleep
5. My Loss Your Gain
6. Everyday I Die A little
7. Radiate Nothing
8. Black Butterfly
9. Nice To Me
10. Eyes That Ring
11. Brand New By Tomorrow

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