Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Mimic of a Mind, the artistic moniker of Jonathon Baumann, a Minnesota based musician that has a slew of releases to his name. From rap to rock to metal, the performer has more than two dozen full albums under his belt. His latest endeavor is ‘Music Destroyed My Life,’ a rather fascinating look into the life of a “struggling artist.” Let’s delve into it a bit…
At seven tracks in length, ‘Music Destroyed My Life’ centralizes itself around a hip hop style that digs primarily into the negative, frustrating aspects of being an aspiring artist. I often have artists come across my desk with a particularly starry-eyed mentality of their career. That’s wonderful, of course, but often unrealistic, almost to the point of comedy. Mimic of a Mind has opted for a much more brutal, realistic analysis of his artform.
The single for the record, ‘More Determined Than Ever,’ is also its introduction. It’s the most uplifting of the seven tracks, arguing that despite the hypocrisy and obstacles surrounding him, Mimic of a Mind will still find a way to persevere for his artform. It’s a vital statement at the beginning of a collection called ‘Music Destroyed My Life’ because later, in tracks like ‘Don’t Believe’ and ‘Spit Me Out,’ Mimic of a Mind explores the frustrations of his craft. There is an angry, frustrated sound throughout much of the EP.
‘More Determined Than Ever,’ however, is a mission statement: the masthead on top of a larger proclamation of self relevance despite hardship. At the end of the day, it’s a facetious record at times. Music doesn’t seemed to have actually destroyed Baumann’s life; it’s likely his lifeblood. But every passionate artist knows the strife that comes with being that passionate about one’s craft, and that’s what this record touches on in a rather intriguing, unique capacity.
There’s a large production quality difference between ‘More Determined Than Ever’ and the six tracks that follow it, but this is largely due to Baumann having that track mastered by a professional. The vocals are crisper and the beats are more pronounced; the overall sonic profile of the tune is much stronger and more refined. In contrast, the self-produced work is somewhat muddy sounding, but the ideas and themes make the songs still worth exploring.
Mimic of a Mind’s music doesn’t conform to traditional themes that independent musicians seem to have a penchant for. If refined even more strongly like its single track, the entire effort could be an even more fascinating journey than it already is. For any artist that’s come at odds with their own art and the people around them because of it, ‘Music Destroyed My Life’ will be a relatable, perhaps even cathartic listen.