If you were a fan of Something Corporate (happy early Throwback Thursday) or Jack’s Mannequin, then you’re probably familiar (and by familiar I mean obsessed) with the frontman of everything, Andrew McMahon. Ever since he branched into more melodic pop with Jack’s, Andrew’s been on the cusp of something truly amazing. Inspired by music greats like Tom Petty, no one tells a story quite like he can.
A true emo kid, I was heartbroken when Andrew disbanded Something Corporate to start his side project, Jack’s Mannequin. I felt like he was moving on to happier days, and I was stuck being a punk rock princess without him. Luckily, it was truly impossible to stay that emo forever (I would’ve burned through enough eyeliner to last a lifetime, with the Myspace mirror pictures to prove it). As Andrew evolved, so did I.
Jack’s Mannequin provided the perfect soundtrack to be happy to. I’m not saying there was no emotion involved — I’m just saying that no one relates to all the feelings they had when they were 13. Now, Andrew’s back as “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness,” and he seems to have hit his stride as an artist and a human being. He wrote this record to explain to his newborn daughter, Cecilia, what his life was like before he and his wife had her. This album inspiration is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever heard (the cutest thing I’ve ever seen is his Instagram, where he poses with her).
Andrew has been gradually releasing songs online, but the entire album is available to listen to today on Billboard. The album officially drops next week on October 14th, but until then, you can listen here. It has more energy than past Jack’s songs, and more originality than their later albums. There’s something different about these songs, not just for him, but for the music industry. You’ll recognize the same old Andrew from the Something Corporate years, but there’s something fresh about this new batch of music. These songs have the full range of emotions that most basic indie bands are lacking in their simple call and response choruses, with the entirety of the band clapping like mad. This record is incredibly refreshing, after a year of album releases that haven’t lived up to the hype. Equal parts beautiful, haunting, and melodic, this album seems like the natural progression for his music, and life, to take.