By Sean Titone
August 26, 2015
Mac McCaughan is a busy man. He’s the co-founder of Durham-based powerhouse record label Merge Records (home to Arcade Fire, Destroyer, The Mountain Goats and Neutral Milk Hotel, just to name a few) and the frontman of American indie rock legends Superchunk, both now 26-years-old and stronger than ever.
Now he’s promoting his first solo album under his own name– the great, recently released Non-Believers.
McCaughan returns to Charlotte and Plaza Midwood venue Snug Harbor this Saturday, August 29 for the second time this year (lucky us!) to play songs from the album, along with some others from his extensive catalog with Superchunk and his more eclectic side project Portastatic. While his previous visit was a solo endeavor, expect the songs to be punched up much more this go-around as he brings with him fellow Carrboro fuzz rockers Flesh Wounds as his backing band and opener.
Non-Believers is a teenage daydream of an album, steeped in nostalgia and full of songs that channel innocence, lost and found. Images of ’82 Hondas, cassettes and split-level homes with their basements full of wonder and possibility permeate the lyrics with a blanket of melancholy. McCaughan leans heavily on a variety of synths and drum machines to give the album an ‘80s haze that is especially prevalent on mid-tempo songs like “Your Hologram” and “Real Darkness.” Yet there are also some distorted guitar-driven pop bangers like “Box Batteries” that should appeal to fans of his main band.
In some ways a concept album, Non-Believers captures those feelings of longing and confusion that come with being a teenager, yet the final song, “Come Upstairs”, fast-forwards to the present perspective of someone older trying to balance creative pursuits with new responsibilities.
McCaughan is a prime example of punk spirit aging gracefully, and while he may quietly and modestly carry the torch of being indie rock’s renaissance man, his DIY attitude, youthful outlook and knack for writing hook-filled songs continue to be an inspiration to many.
Come out to Snug Harbor this Saturday night and support terrific, independent music from one of our finest artists.