Marconi is an indie-rock five-piece crafting majestic and melancholy pop. Imagine old-guard standards like Roy Orbison, Scott Walker, and David Bowie engaging old-soul contemporaries like Neko Case, Spoon, The Walkmen, and Department of Eagles. Familiar chord relations dive together through winding phrases; sections combine and vacillate between ease and tension. The debut album Minutes to Manifest Destiny finds individual themes of isolation and relocation party to studies in territorial expansion; each song extends personal moments and periods into metaphors for the quest to achieve some measure of great and summary fulfillment.
Consider “Chaise Longue” from Minutes to Manifest Destiny
Photo Credit: Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe
The debut album from Marconi, Minutes to Manifest Destiny, opens with the line “Coast to coast by phone’’ and ends up dropping us off somewhere in the Ice Age. Its thickly layered indie-rock fades away into a foggy classroom window view of Bering Strait migrations frozen in time. A surreal gathering of bells and quivering electronic dissonance echoes across the frost-bitten acoustic guitars, trailing off on one last unfinished note. You get the feeling that this band still has a lot more ground to cover — and that we have a lot of catching up to do.
—The Boston Globe
“Grady Calloway’s Heart of Gold” is serious business, teeming with spiraling melodies, split-screen narrative and wordplay, shag-carpet organ chords, and a motley percussion crew Tom Waits could be proud of.
—The Boston Phoenix, from their MP3 of the Week feature
It’s refreshing to see someone release a disc without trying too hard to brand the band or create the latest multi-adjective subgenre. The bob-yer-head quality of “Narrow Gauge,” the meditative pace of “Another Man’s Rhubarb,” the slightly discordant melodies of “The Cold War is an Ice Age”: Whichever track strikes your fancy the most, Minutes to Manifest Destiny is comfortably likeable and easy listening for any ear.
—The Weekly Dig
Marconi may be your favorite band you’ve never heard of. Musically, there is a lot of space held together by a lone synthesizer or delayed guitar. The lyrical content reflects this notion of space and time as Kirkland makes going from his normal singing voice to a falsetto seem far too easy. Overall, Minutes To Manifest Destiny is a solid indie-pop effort from a band you will surely be hearing more about in the coming weeks, months and years.
—Boston Band Crush
Minutes to Manifest Destiny is one beautiful pop record, full of crooned melodies and tongue twisting lyrics draped skillfully over droning repetitive riffs. The results are stirring. This is majestic pop, at a majestic pace, often with melancholic overtones. Shimmering guitars (and the occasional acoustic (perhaps ukelele) strumming) spread forth throughout the proceedings. Kirkland’s elastic vocal delivery and flow are very refreshing within the context of the “rock” sounds found on this record. The record’s best track is called “Chaise Longue”. And it’s a WHOA. One of the better Boston area releases of the year.
—Bodies of Water