Catalonian band MOURN have announced Ha, Ha, He., the follow up to their self-titled debut album. With the announcement of the release, MOURN are sharing the lead-track “Storyteller.”
MOURN’s self-titled 2014 debut LP gave the world an interesting idea: Catalonian teenage wunderkinds making authentically guitar-based music in an era where it’s considered almost unfashionable. Since that period, the band has faced some very real issues, both personally and professionally, things that 17-to-20 year olds normally don’t have to worry about. When dealing with such a youthful band, you worry about how they will live up to the early attention as it begins to dissipate.
Ha, Ha, He. has all the twists and turns of Post-Rock from its Chicago heyday bolstered by the melodic quirkiness of a new influence for the band, Throwing Muses. On “Brother, Brother” and “Howard,” we see MOURN through a pop lens: This is a band that can play around with the pop format in a way that doesn’t degrade their songwriting talent to the lowest common denominator. Not an easy task. On “Second Sage,” it becomes apparent that MOURN have begun to carve out their own niche and their songs are no longer fits of inspiration indebted to their heroes, but just the band being themselves.
The “Irrational Friend” takes its chorus, “Ha. Ha. He!” from William Blake’s “The Laughing Song,” a poem from his Songs of Innocence and Experience. Much like the poem itself, the song is sort of a last gasp of screaming laughter on an album that’s marked in real time. You can sense the band working through their experiences as a group of young people entering their 20s. They face a future that can be equally rewarding and cruel, with respect to their career in music as well as life in general.
MOURN – Ha, Ha, He.
(Captured Tracks – June 3, 2016)
2. Evil Dead
3. Brother Brother
5. The Unexpected
7. Gertrudis Get Through This
8. President Bullshit
9. I Am a Chicken
10. Second Sage
11. Irrational Friend
12. Fry Me