Just Mustard - Heart Under
Deliciously dark second album from the much-hyped Dundalk five-piece.
‘Heart Under’, Just Mustard’s second album and first for Partisan Records, is an album that asks you to forget what you know. At every turn, this remarkable record reconfigures and stretches the ideas and ambition of a rock band, and turns a year of lockdown and personal struggles into a breathtaking artistic statement.
The music the five friends from Dundalk, Ireland make is strikingly untraditional. Though to look at them, it appears that the band are a five-piece with uniform make-up of a vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer, not a single one of them utilises their instrument in a confined or regular fashion.
Since the release of debut album ‘Wednesday’ in mid-2018, the band have undergone a subtle but firm transition, through propulsive 2019 single ‘Frank’ and the gargantuan ‘Seven’ from later that year. While ‘Wednesday’ and subsequent singles pushed Just Mustard away from fitting snugly into the shoegaze category they once occupied, ‘Heart Under’ makes them stand alone as a band that sound like no other.
Across its 10 tracks, the album presents a coherent style and ethos – those scything guitars, Katie’s magical vocals – but still incorporates a wide and untethered vision. There are brooding, atmospheric rock songs (‘Still’, ‘In Shade’) and others that apply a lighter, dreamier touch (‘Sore’, ‘Mirrors’), all tied together with impeccable instrumentation and a united vision. On ‘Wednesday’, the band played with dreamier soundscapes and production techniques, and ‘Heart Under’ serves as the next stage of this development, with every instrument brilliantly pushed to its limit and every boundary of the band stretched.
"This album felt very blue to us,” Katie says of the overarching vision behind ‘Heart Under’. “There was sadness and sorrow in the album, and it felt like being underwater and under something very heavy. We let that influence the music, but it wasn’t a decision – it just naturally happened that way.” Flowing through every part of the album, which unpacks the grief and sorrow that Katie was experiencing at the time of its creation, the theme of water also stretches to its majestic artwork.
+ Indie LPs are pressed on transparent blue vinyl.
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