Mark McGuire announces new album Ideas of Beginnings, shares video for “Beginning of Winter” (at the least offensive possible time, meteorologically)

Mark McGuire announces new album Ideas of Beginnings, shares video for "Beginning of Winter" (at the least offensive possible time, meteorologically)
Center: Mark McGuire (not pictured: reprehensible human society)

Hello. I’m a conservative, white, heterosexual male, and I routinely choose to indulge in the privilege of speaking my mind. Among my myriad other interests and responsibilities, I occasionally write and submit music news posts to an online music magazine called Tiny Mix Tapes (Sometimes I enjoy this work; sometimes I don’t: it is what it is). And today, those interests and responsibilities have dictated that I bring to your “conscious attention” two compelling (if not indispensable) pieces of interrelated music news.

The first is the fact that someone who indisputably enjoys his work — specifically, the American drone musician, guitar player and former-Emerald Mr. Mark McGuire — is endeavoring to, well, return to your “conscious attention”, with the announcement his first album since 2015’s well-regarded album Beyond Belief.

The new effort, which recurring fans of Mr. McGuire’s will no doubt be pleased learn continues to explore his gently psychedelic, droning ambient style — albeit with a somewhat more “stripped-back approach” which forgoes “the expansive sound he has explored on other recent solo outings in favor of the simple arrangements allowed by his guitar and trusted looping pedal” — is thoughtfully entitled Ideas Of Beginnings, and it’s scheduled to be released on June 2 courtesy of the VDSQ label (which seems suspiciously “un-American” to me, but what do I know?).

The second and, as I indicated above, closely interrelated piece of news concerns the fact that Mr. Mark McGuire has also shared a new video for “Beginning of Winter,” which is presumably one of the more representative constituent tracks comprising the whole of Ideas of Beginnings (which is, again, just to be clear: officially out on June 2 but available for pre-order on that questionable VDSQ label).

In the clip, Mr. McGuire can quite appropriately be seen “playing guitar.” But, in keeping with the creative traditions of the film medium, that relatively true-to-life footage is occasionally “overlaid with imagery of a lush green forest that slowly fades into a gentle, but steady, snowfall.” The subtle cognitive dissonance created by the presentation of multiple images at once is “surreal” but not so-much-so as to detract from its enjoy-ability.

A Radio station which I’ve never heard of before — and which I hope in my heart that my tax dollars are not paying for — called “NPR” premiered the clip yesterday, and their reporter (whom I slightly distrust but must begrudgingly respect as a peer) wrote that the song “is built around a delay-reliant guitar loop that feels like it’s always been and always will be” and that “the melody ripples like a pond in the dimensional rift, adding parts and disappearing just as quickly, climaxing in layers of looped euphoria.” Frankly, it doesn’t really seem like that description “describes” the video very much at all to me, but again: what do I know?


Ideas of Beginnings tracklisting:

01. Beginner
02. The Girls
03. Skipping Stones
04. Smile From Up North
05. Late Summer Early Evening
06. The Clock Strikes With Soft Rain
07. Serpent Mount Coyote Song
08. To Continue
09. Beginning Of Winter
10. By The Light Of The Freezing Pond
11. Eleven Sevens

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