San Fransisco polymath Mikal Cronin — who recently received his BFA in music from CalArts, and who recorded most of the instrumentation on his brand-new Merge Records debut, MCII, himself — will play tonight at The Stone Fox. I spoke with Cronin via phone in advance of his Nashville gig, and you can read a good chunk of our conversation here. As you'll see in our chat — and in the excellent clip above, which comes to us courtesy of Yours Truly and Adult Swim — Cronin is a gifted songwriter, and one of those introspective, thoughtfully creative types. He's known for his collaborations with Ty Segall and others as well as for his solo material, and with MCII, the 27-year-old explores themes of uncertainty and identity. Here's a little snippet from our conversation:
Lyrically on this record, I do detect themes of uncertainty. Is that something that comes from where you were when you were making the record, or maybe coming to terms with something when you were writing those songs?
Yeah, absolutely. I'm still feeling those themes really strongly now. It's just a place I've been for a while, just based off of a whole lot of changes to my life really quickly. I feel like it's my own personal coming-of-age story. There's a whole lot of uncertainty, a lack of stability, especially in the life I'm in now as a touring musician full time. Traveling so much, not being home. That puts strain on your relationships and your relationship to yourself, at least to me personally. Just trying to figure out who I am and what I'm doing, if I'm making the right choices in this crazy world I find myself in.
Fans of pop music couched in punk aesthetics will likely find that Cronin's done pretty well for himself with MCII. Tonight he'll be joined by excellent fellow Bay Area rock 'n' rollers Shannon and the Clams, plus locals Weekend Babes and The Paperhead. Show's at 9 p.m., tickets will run you $12. Oh also, see the video for Cronin's "Change" after the jump.