We previously reviewed The Mars McClanes with their track, Day Is Done, so we were excited and happy to see them reach the top of our reviews pile again. This time with their latest single, Broke Kid.

We’d have staked our lives on the first instrument we heard being a mandolin, but their biography says ukulele! Either way, it’s a lovely, gentle and folky start to the song. When the vocal comes in, it’s clear and bright and dry with unaffected vocals, making the whole feel of the song very intimate. It develops with some shaker, the finger picked notes turn to strums (sounding more uke like by this point) and some glorious harmonies join the mix.

At around 1 minute in, there’s a great change of pace. With a lovely tight rhythm, this feels like a song most worthy of sitting on a playlist alongside Counting Crows. We even spotted a touch of Canadian Rock band, Finger 11.

Broke Kid is masterful in it’s use of different sections. With some lovely break downs and rise and fall, this is a song that easily maintained our interest for many listens. We particularly liked the tremolo effect on the guitar that swirls around before heading back into an acoustic strummed uke again. A super catchy indie rock/folk track.

We really liked the lyrics of this track. Of particular note;

“You loved me with dust in my pocket
you loved me with nothing in my wallet”

From a production perspective, a boost around 85Hz would balance out the low end a little and give the kick drum a little more thump. A cut around 160Hz in the vocal track would reduce some slightly muddy tones and a cut at 196Hz on the acoustic guitar track would reduce the peaking of the resonant frequency (G)l, particularly noticeable during the very exposed parts in the intro. A cut around 550-600Hz would reduce the occasionally honky tone in the vocal which pokes through at certain points in the song. Finally, a high shelf boost in the top 2 or even 3 octaves would add a little more presence and brightness overall. These are all tiny adjustments if any at all, the song is already a damned fine piece of music!

The Mars Maclanes have produced yet another fun and catchy track that brings a smile to your face. This talented 4 piece from Portland (US) are most definitely making waves in all the right directions. We look forward to more and urge you to add them to your playlist.