WL//WH Review: MINDREADER Challenges Listeners to Look Inside in the “Cope With Me” EP

WL//WH Review  MINDREADER

A familiar name to the blog since last year’s early couple of singles, the Montreal-based unit, Mindreader, comprised of Valerie Kirkwell, Edward Scrimger, Bryan Greenfield, and Alexandre Duguay, have finally delivered their juicy debut 5-track EP, titled “Cope With Me”, rife with the band’s refreshing and intoxicating take on the ’80s Synth-legacy with a fascinating Goth-tinged mesh-up of the most mesmerizing and catchy nuanced of New Wave and Synth-Pop, combining ambient textures, lush vocal harmonies, and relatable human lyrics with driving and buzzing electronic rhythms.

“Cope With Me” blends ancient monsters and childhood ghost stories with the psychological conditions of domestic abuse, emotional vampirism, trauma bonding, and self-medicating, inviting listeners to look in the mirror, get uncomfortable, face the shadow, and journey into self-discovery and healing.

The first entry, “The Kill” delves into the aftermath of a potentially abusive relationship where aloof yet angry vocals reveal a tragic sense of longing despite a mysterious incident that crosses the point of no return. The paired visuals by Alexandrine Khoury won the best music video award at the Rome Prisma Film Awards and unveil more insight about the trauma using a maze of symbols and interpretive role play, to sync with the harsh textures and driving electronic drums of the soundtrack.

“Leviathan” captures the oppressive feeling of being chained in a troubled relationship where both people try desperately to pretend it is not a lie by switching aching tormented vocals with secretive spoken words, slowly creeping ominous bass lines, and sinister glowing synths to culminate in an aggressive, chaotic climax before gradually receding like the beast beneath the waves.

The midway point of the EP, “Parasite” gives listeners a moment to breathe with a subdued first verse, only to be blindsided as the song erupts into a high-energy, danceable chorus delivered by a beautifully emotive vocal, amped up on angst and fear. In the Halloween video edition, Alexandre Favre brings the eerie track to life, starring Henri Patenaude as a vulnerable child tormented by the Shadow Man.

“Soft Pull” is about a dark psychological bond forged in past trauma that injects pain into a forever couple whose twisted love blooms mayhem, expressed by a haunting dissociative vocal and heavy buzzing mists to become the most experimental track of the EP, with unconventional sounds, textures, and song structure, demonstrating an ability to go outside of the traditional genres while maintaining a cohesive sound.

The closing fuses doomy and sinister cinematics around a whispery anxious vocal to manifest the feeling of being an “Outsider” watching a friend get high to come down from anxiety. Jagged menacing riffs and mesmeric droning bass tones expand into an inquisitive hypnotic and industrial track that once again pushes the boundaries with a laid-back, high energy, and unsettling finisher.

Mindreader have nailed down an electrifying and gripping first EP, soaked in nostalgia yet at the same time gazing to the future. A good premise to grow up in personality with.

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