the road chief – all my love

TRC - All My Love
out august 21st via cascine

mark mcguire stepped away from his role in the ambient electronic trio emeralds back in 2013 to focus on an even more experimental solo career.  mcguire’s work under the moniker the road chief stretches back even further; it’s a dj handle he’s used since the late 2000’s, and it recently became attached to mcguire’s output of comparatively sunny, groove-driven electro-pop.  seven of these tracks are packaged into all my love, an effervescent album to soundtrack the waning weeks of summer.

in both emeralds and his solo work, mcguire musical identity has been firmly rooted in the guitar; the instrument crops up here and there across all my love, but its role is secondary, riding comfortably in the backseat while the union of stuttering drums and a 1980’s-inspired synth palette powers the project.  tracks like “summer eyes” and “always open” flutter around effortlessly in the breeze, punctuated by handfuls of complementing melodic ideas that ride atop fat bass lines and even-keeled drum beats, while “thinkin about you” absolutely brims with confidence, its assertive backbeat never wavering as it ushers in each new segment of the song.

mcguire adequately avoids prolonged frivolity by occasionally getting introspective.  “is this really love?” anchors the album, and its slow build and gradual layering of nearly every synth tone in mcguire’s arsenal delivers a contrast to the runaway, feel-good effects established by his interpretation of electro-pop.  similarly, “that night” functions well as the de facto come-down track on all my love, using its fleeting arpeggios and penultimate placement to foreshadow the majestic sweeps of the closing number, “so alone.”

all my love is a good summer driving record.  whether you’re cruising rural county backroads in landlocked states or trekking up or down either coast in search of the ocean, the road chief will add aural cues to your visual memories.  no one track demands greater attention than the others; instead, the components of all my love form a cohesive bond, yielding a product suitable to be heard on a continuous loop.  give it a spin.

listen to a new song from the road chief

photo courtesy of the artist

mark mcguire spent the last year or so cultivating material for his debut full-length as the road chief, an outlet for his more off-the-cuff electronic output.  all my love is set to drop august 21st via cascine, and mcguire shared the album’s second single, “is this really love?,” earlier this week.  “is this really love?” is the shuddering centerpiece of the record, its laid-back tempo and broad explorations of pitch register anchoring mcguire’s otherwise-effervescent tendencies.  take a listen below.

listen to a new song from the road chief

photo courtesy of the artist

mark mcguire navigates through electro-pop atmospheres as the road chief, a moniker adopted to distinguish these compositions from his usual guitar-based droning output.  mcguire will release his first full-length as the road chief, a seven-song collection called all my love, on august 21st via cascine; pre-order the cassette here and take a listen to its warm, effervescent lead single “summer eyes” below.