Feelin' Low? Try Mink's Miracle Medicine for All That Ails you

The West Virginia folk punks kindly let us stream their debut, 'House of Candles' here.

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May 25 2017, 7:15pm

Being a female country music fan is tough. Scratch that. Being a woman and a fan of music is tough. Country music just has its own issues, one of the most mind-boggling ones being that women in the genre are rarely allowed the space to be emotional on their own terms. Men can sing all they want about all the trouble they've caused by their bad decisions, but as a woman you can't sing about much—other than having your heart broken or getting revenge, of course.

That disconnect is one of the reasons that mainstream artists like Maren Morris, Margo Price, and Kacey Musgraves and independents like Sarah Shook and Angaleena Presley feel so refreshing to hear even in 2017, when everyone and their dog is woke: They're singing about being sad and making mistakes, too, but they're doing in in a genre that only thinks of them as a crazy-ex girlfriend (no disrespect to the GOAT Miranda Lambert).

So when I heard Mink's Miracle Medicine the first time, I instantly was incredibly excited. Comprised of Melissa Wright and Danny Zezeski, the band is a Charlottesville, Virginia, duo with roots in bluegrass and punk, respectively. The two met at a show in Charlottesville in 2013, and now, four years later, they're releasing their first album House of Candles.

At its core, House of Candles is a honky-tonkin' breakup album all about the struggle to get on with life while still being kind of messed up from the previous obstacle. It includes songs like "The Rift," a moody, more rock-influenced track about two people's colliding desire for a partner with a little bit of a dark side to their motives and "Standing Behind," which mourns the death of a hometown and the people who abandon it or get too caught up in keeping it the same to allow it to evolve. On "The Nashville Song" MMM advances the narrative we get in Dixie Chicks songs like "Wide Open Spaces" or "Ready to Run" by adding in a dash of Margo Price's honest to God (if not brutal) realism: A girl decides to leave home and pursue her dream, but making that choice means her parents cut her off, and she eventually realizes her dream is going to be tough to achieve.

Overall, it's a solid record that really establishes Wright and Zezeski not just as talented and articulate, but smart enough to be willingly vulnerable in a genre that doesn't tend to reward legitimate emotions. Listen below.

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