Mackland Ave, like the house on the street that provided the inspiration for the tracks of the album, contains a little bit of everything, showcasing the diverse talent that is Mike Woodlark on this his second album, but the first under his own name.
Listening to the Pines is a tune that was named by his grandmother, as to her, it represented to the sound of the wind as it creates a musical melody, lazily sighing amongst the trunks, leaves and limbs.
Dark Locomotion perfectly captures that timeless pulsating sound of steam locomotive powering its way down the tracks to a final destination.
The quirky track title An Elephants Soul is dedicated to Woodlarks’ mother whose totem animal is an Elephant. His gentle vocals reflect time spent with her on the porch looking at the stars, something so many have done and will continue to do both as children and adults.
A powerful and wide soundscape is Legends of the Southwest inspired by western movies, outlaws, cinema and in his words, simply gave him permission to jam with himself. A fun and sweeping piece reminiscent of the days of the Wild West and Hollywood.
Vincent Van Gogh gets a look in on Hey Vincent, introduced with guitar, with lovely vocalisation that pays tribute to the artists life story, his amazing work. The question is posed should they meet, what would Van Gogh think of him, in this very modern world. A second, stripped back and original version of this song completes the album.
Rainshine dances across the keys presenting a pop synth flavour, before a deeper more brooding tone is introduced perfectly capturing the elements of a rainy, stormy day, when the heavens simply appear to be unable to decide what to deliver. Once again, some lovely worded vocals add a depth to the piece.
Changing emotion once again is the classically inspired piece Graceful Grim, a beautiful piece for solo piano that transforms with its elegant simplicity. When followed by Dreameries and Home Cooked Dinner, a rather jaunty little piece, a wonderful soliloquy of thoughts, feeling and emotions has been presented.
Mackland Ave is a fast paced, synth-based piece which is very up-tempo, catchy and bouncy, perfectly reflecting his time spent living on Mackland Ave; a place of dreams, love won and lost and above all learning about and living life.
A great album to be enjoyed time and time and gain.