Mike Legere // Ourselves in Public
Written by Kayla Albee
Ourselves in Public is the debut solo album from Toronto by way of Nova Scotia based solo artist Mike Legere. When not working on his solo music, Legere performs with the alternative indie group Century Thief, as well as the orchestral folk rock ensemble Places Erupt.
Having written, recorded, and performed the entirety of Ourselves in Public himself, with the exception of cello in "The Sudden Downpour" being performed by Steve La, it's clear that Legere has created an album that captures his message both lyrically and musically in full.
An interesting aspect of this album is that rather than being recorded at one location, it was instead recorded in various studios, as well as apartment buildings, and practice spaces, and has sound pulled from busy cities, subways, and even a rainstorm. This method of recording gives each song a more developed personality, as each song had its own journey prior to making its way onto the record.
Legere's lyrics dives deep into the confusing world of struggling to find your footing while presenting an authentic version of yourself, rather than the version that you believe society wants to see. This idea shines through bright and early on the opening track "Rebirth" where Legere sings "To you I am a moving piece / And though you sense a soul inside of me, it don’t flow / The shadows just for show."
This theme is carried throughout the album, with stand out tracks including "Yourself" where Legere sings "The world watched how you moved / Showered with descriptions / Eyes of strangers from the ditches / Words become more of you than any of you" which are delivered over a soft rock beat. "Terrible Night" steps out of the box the most in terms of musicality, taking on a bit of a theatrical air with the building guitars and melodic chorus.
Ourselves in Public is a well curated selection of pieces that transcend generations and borders and encompass all that has been, all that is, and all that will be. Paying attention to the lyrics, one can't help but be made aware of the choices that they make each day and how those choices do (or do not) align with their true self. The music ebbs and flows much like a sun drenched daydream -- light and airy with modest rhythms. The introspective lyrical content that exposes the inner workings of society as a whole are what propels this album forward and sets it apart from other indie rock releases.
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