Photo by Kayne Tesolin
We find the best music at night, and often the best music seems to fit that feeling. There's no better dichotomy of being alone and being everywhere at once, finding exactly what captures that disconnect. It's in the depths of deep-night internet hunting where most people have probably found the emotion heavy Molly Drag, a solo musician out of London, Ontario.
In two months, Michael Hansford, or Molly Drag, recorded 20 songs that would have killed most other musicians. The songs came together to form Deeply Flawed, a record that tested the waters of shoegaze, emo, and any avenue in which to explore anguish and catharsis. It's unflinching self-expression at its best, creating songs that hook themselves into the listener and refuse to leave, despite how much pain they hold.
All this is to say, Molly Drag takes familiar elements and makes them weirder and grosser. Hansford has a voice reminiscent of Conor Oberst (in fact, Hansford recently opened up for Desaparacidos), carrying his weary melody and perma-pain. But Hansford is keenly aware of this and adds layers of affectations on top of his voice and guitar, transforming what would be a nice and safe acoustic song into something more dangerous.
Not one to wait, the next Molly Drag record is on the horizon, titled Tethered Rendering, to be released on Broken World Media. It cuts the size of Deeply Flawed down to twelve tracks, imbuing each with insane levels of poignancy and focus. Like his new song, "Thirty Stitched Up Swell" The song is a beguiling sort of pleasure, taking the fun airy kind of dreampop you know, and giving it a serious undercurrent in vocals. The video directed by Erik Hutt (with assistance by Christopher Gray) takes extremely close shots of people's faces, interlaced with other effect shots.
It's a small sample of the vast expanses Hansford has created with Tethered Rendering. Molly Drag might very well be the scene's next huge singer-songwriter, and it will all be on his terms.