Avery Mandeville | Happy Birthday, Avery Jane

 
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Family Average: 6.5/7

Anyone who doubts New Jersey's musical prowess needs to "GET REAL!" because we're about to bowl you over, knock your socks off, and kick you while you're down with this stomping new album from the Garden state.

Born, bred, and based by the shore, Avery Mandeville is fresher than our tomatoes. How fresh, you ask? Well, Springsteen once gave her a $20 tip. So, the Boss was impressed...but what about the Family?

Listen along on Spotify and read on to find out:

 
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Hey there Avery great to see you again. For all of you that do not know, Meg C and I had the pleasure of catching Miss Avery Mandeville in Asbury Park some weeks ago. Dang this summer really was a blur. Still through our drunken haze at 11:30 we knew we were seeing something special. So much so that when she finished her set as that night’s opener, the two of us decided we “were not even going to try and let anyone top that.”, and stumbled out of the bar to sit on the beach. Looking around we tried to piece together what about the act had hit us so hard. Listening to this album I am glad to say pretty much everything we found out that night still holds true here.

To start I think it’s the topics of her songs, and not so much what she is saying, but how she is saying it. The way she approaches topics is the way you yourself have heard it play out 100 times in your head. The next thing was her voice which really stood out. I feel like lately there are like at most 3 kinds of voices that you hear bands in this genre try to emulate. Instead she goes off and adds a whole bunch of character with hers. The way it trembles, and oscillates on some songs is super magical. Lastly I want to point out that it was great to hear her songs with a full studio band behind them. After the stripped down show (which was great) it was amazing to see the full extent of the songs.

6/7

 
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Discovering Avery Mandeville in Asbury Park this summer was like reaching into your jeans pocket and finding a crisp $5 bill. We wandered into the venue to see a different headliner, but were bowled over by this punchy performer holding court on a tiny stage by the boardwalk. With her effervescent stage presence, honest lyrics, and shredding guitar, Avery served up a sense of authenticity and slice of humility that stole the show. This new album is a fantastic continuation of that show. There’s a potent mix of indie and punk coursing through each song, featuring lyrics that scorch and burn. She crafts ballads and anthems that honestly express shared experiences and sentiments. This is especially evident on the track “Blood,” which I am absolutely positive will hit home and hard for anyone with a vagina. Her words are explosive and emotional with the right amount of irony and humor -- there is no gravitas or pretension. She gives it to you straight.

I really hope Avery blows up, because 1) her talent and passion deserves some serious recognition; and 2) the music industry could use a shake up a la Avery and the Man Devils.

7/7 (MUCH DESERVED)

 

Right from the album cover I had a funny feeling I was going to like this album. I’m happy to say, it delivered past the nicely cropped film photo. Avery has that perfect mixture of nostalgia and creative vision that makes for my favorite kind of tunes. The album has the right variety of emotion, fun in the beginning, then energetic, then slower and sweet with “Alexander” then back up softly. Her lyrics aren’t trying to be anything more than what they are, and that’s what makes them perfect. She’s got the words that perfectly encapsulate being an aging millennial in this  weird tug-of-war from youth to adulthood, from innocence to awareness. Her sound kind of reminds me of Angel Olsen, Margaret Glaspy, or Lucy Dacus. The energy of Avery is raw and fun though, and very unique to her. Oh boy, she really is something! It’s safe to say, Happy Birthday, Avery Jane will be making it into my regular rotation of music for my day to day life.

My second 7/7 to Courtney Barnett.

 
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Music is always changing, but some things about music never changes: quality is quality. Avery Mandeville brings her own version of the blues to rock & roll. It’s no surprise; she was weaned on music at the Jersey Shore. I heard she plays in Asbury Park, a town where I spent most of my youth. When I was really young I used to hear the music coming from the doors of the Stone Pony as I rode the ferris wheel. That was my first introduction to Rock & Roll. In it’s own way, this album is reminiscent of those days. Her voice has a soulful quality to it, while at times gritty and full of emotion. She represents what a singer/songwriter should be. The music compliments her voice perfectly. Guitar solos are tastefully done and flow effortlessly. For those of you haven’t heard her, think: Avril Lavigne mixed with Amy Winehouse

There is no ceiling on ambition. Success comes when you reach for it. With Happy Birthday Avery Jane, this Avery has touched the stars.

6/7

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It was hard to pinpoint what exactly it was that made this album work so well. It feels like waking up at noon on a humid autumn day on a couch with lots of Housing Works Thrift Shop pillows in a friend’s apartment with the light shining in on your face through a lacework curtain and the table next to you has an ashtray with spent cigarettes and in the nearby kitchen sink has a couple dirty dishes and a presser filled with used coffee grinds and after you wash your face in the bathroom sink you skateboard down to a bar where you’re meeting up with some other friends and the leaves haven’t started turning yet so the light’s shining through making them that neat yellow-green color and there’s a lot of houses with chainlink fences. This is like if you combined some of the qualities of Courtney Barnett, K T Tunstall, and Alanis Morrisette. She doesn’t sound exactly like any of them, but has traits similar to them. It’s unapologetic, energetic and raw, like yeah some things suck but I’m gonna keep going and be who I am. It’s more than just someone playing a guitar and throwing in some varying accompaniments; there’s a lot of work put into the sound and mood of each song. The album starts with a good ol’ bar jam feel and then it kicks it into gear with “Walk of Shame” with a head-bopping beat. “The Woods” is more melodic than the others and has some neat warbling vocals.


I’d def recommend this album to anyone who likes rock music that’s down-to-earth and untouched by executive meddling.

6.5/7

 
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Wow! I have not been this happy to review an album in a long time. Everything about this is refreshing. Each song is composed with thought and emotion. She reminds me a bit of Courtney Barnett, yet she definitely has her own style. Her voice is unique and pairs perfectly with her instrumentals and arrangements. I could see listening to this anywhere, driving, sitting on the beach or even doing yoga. It's just great to hear wherever you are. So glad we got to review this and I'm excited to hear more from this artist.

7/7

 
 
Sean Maldjian